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Yakutia Airline 737 Grounded in Alaska 'Over Unpaid Bills'

A Boeing 737 in Yakutia Airlines livery. Björn Strey

WASHINGTON — Yakutia Airlines is currently one plane short, as a Boeing 737 in its fleet enters its third week parked on the tarmac at an Alaskan airport, thanks to a legal dispute over millions of dollars in alleged unpaid leasing fees, a news report said.

The airplane was grounded Sept. 26 at the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage when representatives of International Lease Finance Corp., which owns the airplane, presented the Yakutia Airlines captain with legal papers before takeoff, the Alaska Dispatch reported

Eight passengers booked on the return flight to Russia were unable to complete their journey, although they eventually managed to do so via connections in Seattle.

ILFC launched its repossession effort after it claimed that Sakha-based Yakutia Airlines fell behind on payments on two 737s worth a total of $54 million it had leased from the firm, the report said.

ILFC says it is owed $2.6 million and also complained in an Alaska court that Yakutia Airlines had failed to fulfill a contractual obligation to file an annual "technical evaluation report" one year after signing the 7-year leases.

ILFC is the largest aircraft leasing company in the world, with nearly 1,000 planes on lease internationally.

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