MOSCOW, April 22 (RAPSI) - Alexander Lebedev told Profile magazine that he is suing GE subsidiaries demanding compensation for their allegedly fraudulent operations involving Blue Wings airplanes.
"In 2006-2008, GE subsidiary General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) loaned us funds through its PK Airfinance subsidiary for the purchase of three new and seven five-year-old А320 planes for the German company Blue Wings, in which we had a share. I felt that something was amiss when the leasing company didn't offer to lease us the planes but instead financed the acquisition. But I couldn't believe that such a huge leasing company would resort to such tactics," the businessman said.
In March 2009, Germany's national civil aviation authority LBA suspended Blue Wings' operations due to the company's alleged failure to comply with cash reserve requirements. PK Airfinance claimed the planes, but Lebedev thought they would be sold on the open market and his company would get back the $75 million difference.
But PK Airfinance said the planes were in bad condition and assessed the repair of each plane at $10 million.
"Next they staged a fictitious auction where GECAS bought the planes for $171.5 million, although they cost much more. Moving from unnecessary repairs to an auction, they channeled my money from a GE subsidiary to that subsidiary's subsidiary," Lebedev claims.
He said that a similar scheme was used to defraud Indian, Chinese and Pakistani air carriers, as well as Aeroflot's cargo subsidiary in a fraudulent deal involving Boeing 747s.
In 2005, Lebedev's National Reserve Corporation (NRC) decided to invest in air transportation between Russia and the EU and purchased a 48% stake in German air carrier Blue Wings, while at the same time starting the Red Wings company in Russia.