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“We transport up to 10 thousands of guests per year”

As a resident of the Torus "Kamchatka" helps to develop tourism in the region

The private helicopter company Vityaz-Aero has emerged as the leader of small aircraft in the Kamchatka Territory for several years. Today, rotary-winged cars of the resident of the Torus Kamchatka not only solve the acute problem of transport accessibility in the region, but also actively promote the tourist brand. Even one of its kind. A shaman, a husky, a bear, an eagle, and a gyrfalcon fly on board the helicopters Airbrushed livery fell in love with the inhabitants and guests of the peninsula.

“We transport up to 10 thousands of guests per year”
Photo: Photo courtesy of "Vityaz-Aero"
The airline "Vityaz-Aero" started the business 10 years ago with three Mi-8 helicopters. In 2013, a merger with another private company, Kamchatka Airlines, took place. After the merger, the total park has already made 25 rotary-wing machines. Today, the resident carries passengers throughout the region, including remote villages, communication with which is out of season is possible only by air. Vityazi fly to Paramushir Island (Kuril Islands).
The flights of local residents are subsidized by the government of the Kamchatka Territory, but initially, Viktor Sirotin, general director of Vityaz-Aero Aviation Company LLC, is recognized, the company was created for the sake of the tourist cluster.

- We ourselves were born and live in Kamchatka, and we want this region to develop. And for this you need to attract guests here and provide them with quality services. Every year we invest in the development of our infrastructure from 50 to 100 million rubles. Over the 2018 year, our helicopters transported over 37 thousands of passengers, of which thousands are 9,5 tourists. In March, the season of extreme sports lovers begins in our country - heli-skiing, then fishermen, hunters, then tourists in protected areas (immediately volcanoes, the Valley of Geysers, Kuril Lake), fishermen and hunters again. We are flying like this until the end of October, ”says the resident of the Torus Kamchatka.

According to him, the company receives tax preferences, however, there are certain factors that influence the increase in the cost of the tour.

- The main component in the price of flights is aviation kerosene. By the end of 2018, it had risen in price to 72 thousand rubles per ton. For example: to fly to the famous Valley of Geysers and back, you need to fill a minimum of 8 kg into Mi-2400 tanks. This affects the cost of the tour, for which the passenger ultimately pays out of his pocket, - explains the general director of the company.

The competitive advantage of Vityaz-Aero is its own small airport, built between Yelizovo, where the main air harbor of Kamchatka is located, and Paratunka village. The air terminal is considered one of the most comfortable and modern on the peninsula.

There is a cafe, free Wi-Fi, a large Mi-2 helicopter stands on a large station square. During the season, gazebos and souvenir shops are open for tourists.

“We take schoolchildren here on an excursion; children can sit in the cockpit at the pilot’s seat, put on a headset and headphones.” We show them the technical regulations. For example, how the aircraft is repaired, the engine changes. In general, about our airport I can say that I don’t have to blush in front of foreign tourists, - says Victor Sirotin.

Today, the staff of "Vityaz-Aero" 234 person. For four years, the airline has employed 34 graduate of the Omsk Flight Technical College - the only one in Russia, which produces specialists helicopter pilots, pilots and flight mechanics. The resident of TOR works with the Ministry of Education of the Kamchatka Territory to solve the personnel issue, participating in the development of a program to send graduates of local schools to study outside the region. However, the fleet is updated.

“We buy new helicopters and look at used options with a minimum operational resource. The overhaul is made at the aircraft repair plant in Tyumen - this reduces the production costs and the time needed to repair the aircraft, ”emphasizes the head of the company, Viktor Sirotin.

In 2018, Vityaz-Aero received two repaired, freshly painted helicopters from the UTair-Engineering aircraft repair plant. And in 2019-m three more will arrive. In addition, the number of Kamchatka-style helicopters will increase from eight to 11.
This year, near the heliport in Nikolayevka, the company will begin construction of the runway for small aircraft. The volume of investment in the project will be 600 million rubles.

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