Major aircraft lessor Avolon is gearing to tackle possible disruptions to business with Russia and is concerned about whether sanctions against the country would affect international payment transfers, its chief executive said today.

US officials have warned that Moscow could launch an attack on Ukraine after massing more than 100,000 troops close to its neighbour's border, with the West preparing heavy sanctions.

Avolon is focused on ensuring that airlines flying over the region are fully insured from a risk-management perspective, chief executive Dómhnal Slattery told Reuters on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow.

If sanctions are slapped on Russia, he added, "My biggest concern is the sanctions are on SWIFT, so international payment transfers."

"So we're focused on ensuring how do we get around that from the payment of our rentals perspective," Mr Slattery said.

Privately held Avolon has fewer than 20 airplanes in Russia and one or two in Ukraine, out of a total fleet of more than 550 aircraft, Slattery said.

The company is working with a customer in Ukraine to relocate the aircraft to a more neutral territory, but is waiting to see how the situation develops before deciding whether to move its planes out of Russia.

"A bad situation in Ukraine is not good for anybody," the CEO added.