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Aircastle to repossess Avianca Brazil aircraft

Aircraft lessor Aircastle has confirmed it will repossess 11 Airbus aircraft on lease to Avianca Brazil.

The company has "terminated the leases for, and began exercising remedies to, repossess" one Airbus A330-200 and 10 A320s, Aircastle says in a 10 December filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

"As previously disclosed, Aircastle had been working through a delinquent receivables issue with Avianca Brazil," the filing says. "Aircastle has been in remarketing discussions with several potential customers."

Avianca Brazil is owned by Synergy Group, which also owns part of Avianca Holdings, parent of Colombia carrier Avianca. Avianca Brazil is not a subsidiary of Avianca Holdings.

As a result of the terminations, Aircastle has revised its fourth quarter lease rental revenue guidance from $187-$191 million to $182-$184 million. It has likewise revised its maintenance revenue guidance from $14-$18 million to $90-$94 million.

In recent days, Avianca Brazil told FlightGlobal it would return eight aircraft to lessors. That news followed reports of legal action by lessors seeking the return of up to 13 Airbus aircraft. The carrier said it had planned the fleet reductions since August and did not specify which aircraft were included in the returns.

Local reports have suggested BOC Aviation is also looking to take back two A320neos on lease to the carrier. BOC Aviation declined to comment.

In 2016, Avolon sued Synergy for failing to make lease payments it guaranteed on behalf of Avianca Brazil. Currently, Avolon has one A330 on lease to the carrier, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

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