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Yakutia Airlines faces steep dive
Regional carrier suffers billions in losses
The Ministry of Transport of Russia must submit scenarios for the creation of a Far Eastern airline by September 10. The government of Yakutia is in favor of uniting the existing carriers with the inclusion in the capital of the new airline of the republican Yakutia and Polar Airlines. About what can prevent "Yakutia" from becoming a member of the alliance of Far Eastern carriers - in the material of EastRussia.
DEBTS AND SUBSIDIES
The regional airline "Yakutia" has been suffering constant losses over the past few years, despite regular financial support from the republican budget. From 2014 to 2018, Yakutia received state support in the amount of 12,1 billion rubles. Of these, 4,3 billion and 4,2 billion are state guarantees and additional capitalization of the authorized capital, the company received 2,2 billion as loans at low interest rates, and 1,2 billion is the amount of subsidies sent to Yakutia over five years ...
In August 2018, the airline's total debt was RUB 2019 billion. In September of the same year, Yakutia received two billion rubles as a loan. The money was allocated by a regional financial institution from the funds received from the republic's sale of a block of shares in ALROSA-Nyurba. In March 1,7, the general director of the company, Vladimir Gorbunov, announced that the government had allocated a subsidy of XNUMX billion rubles to Yakutia so that the carrier could pay off its existing debt.
However, in the same year, claims against the airline began to be filed with arbitration courts. The largest creditor, the State Transport Leasing Company, filed the first claim in the amount of 34,7 million rubles at the end of October 2019. Currently, the Moscow Arbitration Court is considering six claims of STLC against AK Yakutia for a total of 855,3 million rubles. S7 Engineering won 75,7 million from the airline, Yakutsk Airport - 11,6 million, RN-Aero - 3,6 million, A-Technics - 2,7 million rubles.
A lawsuit for 16,8 million rubles from Airfleet Resources is under consideration. On June 17, the Arbitration Court of Yakutia accepted a claim for ten million rubles from Concept-Oil LLC.
The legal proceedings on the claims of the State Transport Leasing Company (STLK), with which the regional air carrier entered into leasing agreements for the Sukhoi Superjet 100, has not yet been completed. Yakutia's fleet now has five medium-range SSJ 100s. Two years ago, in the midst of the summer season, two of the four existing aircraft were idle due to breakdowns. Then the company reported that out of eight engines that are in operation, two are fully operational.
In this case, the manufacturers took upon themselves the costs of replacing the local part of the malfunction, and the associated financial costs were borne by the airline. For example, dismantling one engine was estimated at $ 100. It is not known how things are going with the operation of domestic aircraft now - AK Yakutia did not respond to the publication's request.
Yakutia was one of the first to start operating aircraft of the domestic manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. EastRussia's two sources in the aviation industry confirm that the regional government, which is the owner of the airline, has agreed to an extremely disadvantageous contract. In their opinion, no compensation was provided for financial costs in the operation of aircraft that had not yet been tested for commercial purposes.
“Such a“ special ”agreement with colossal compensation for downtime was concluded with Aeroflot. For the airline, standing still is even beneficial, ”said one of the interlocutors.
Sukhoi planes fly three times less than the Boeing 737s in the airline's fleet, according to the deputy of the republican parliament Viktor Fedorov, who initiated a parliamentary investigation into the formation of prices for air tickets by regional air carriers.
“These extremely low rates and technical failure at the level of 50% continue to generate losses for the airline,” the parliamentarian said.
It is not known whether Yakutia had the opportunity to constructively use a one-time federal subsidy of 139 million rubles for a domestically produced aircraft. The leader in flight time on SSJ 100 is the private airline Azimut (one of whose owners is Pavel Udod, the former top manager of Yakutia), for example, with this money it created spare parts warehouse, was the first to rent engines to replace those out of order. The government of Yakutia declined to comment on the airline.
Despite these circumstances, the airline plans to expand its fleet with new SSJ 100. About this in an interview TASS at the end of July, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov reported.
It is possible that Yakutia's plans to operate domestic aircraft are dictated by the desire to participate in a new project - the creation of a Far Eastern airline, under which airlines must equip their fleets with Russian-made vessels.
The head of Yakutia recently announced that the republic's leadership is against the creation of a Far Eastern carrier only on the basis of the Aurora airline. Nikolaev explained that in this case the operating regional airlines will be forced to carry out only unprofitable flights. Nikolayev accompanied the criticism of the project of the Ministry of Transport of Russia with the words "I am not an idiot yet to agree on such decisions."
According to the chairman of the Association of Small Aviation of Yakutia, Ivan Lukin, the regions will need either a property or a monetary contribution in order to enter the capital of the new airline.
“But regional carriers have nothing to invest in. Yakutia has nothing but the An-24, Soviet-built hangars. And the alliance, as is customary in world practice, is created from among strong carriers with a positive financial balance, ”Lukin noted.
According to Viktor Fedorov, on the basis of a regional carrier, it is possible to create an airline that carries out transportation exclusively on main routes on Boeing 737. Air traffic within the republic and between regional centers should be built on the basis of another regional airline, Polar Airlines, equipped with light single-engine aircraft, as well as using the existing An-24, An-26.
“Aviation technical bases can be reorganized into an independent single structure serving these established airlines, third-party organizations and private helicopters. In addition, the branch ministry should be renewed, in which, as far as I know, there is not a single specialist with specialized education and experience in the aviation industry, ”says Fedorov.
CREATE A COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT
In the Far East, the cost of flights is high due to specific conditions, and without government support, long-distance and especially intraregional transportation is unfeasible. The federal budget spends about nine billion rubles annually on subsidizing transportation.
Professionals do not welcome the creation of a single Far Eastern airline, which will have certain preferences from the government, to which the existing routes will be transferred. They believe that in this case the interests of regional carriers are infringed.
“We will be forced to act not entirely in market conditions, and it will be difficult for us to compete with the new airline. And therefore, we would prefer market-based methods of solving the problem of transport accessibility in the Far East. They are about the government's removal of the root cause of high airfares by addressing two key issues. This is the issue of pricing aviation fuel, in particular, the zeroing of excise taxes and VAT, and the zeroing of airport taxes. Zeroing these two components in the cost of an air ticket would reduce its cost by 40-50%. By solving these two issues, the Russian government would improve the competitive environment in the aviation business in the Far East, which would contribute to the development of the aviation industry, "concludes Ivan Lukin.