Russian aviation-2015: a year of UPS and downs

The past year brought the airline a lot of surprises. Not justified the gloomy predictions about “UTair”, “Aeroflot”, which took care of the passengers, “Transaero”, was in an ambivalent situation.

MOSCOW, Dec 15. The decline in air transportation in Russia could be considered a natural result in the past year, given the overall decline in the economy of the country, and this time he was warmed up and other factors: the role played by the withdrawal from the market of the second largest airline of Russia – “Transaero”, as well as restrict flights to Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine.

And although, according to the Ministry of transport, the total number transported by the Russian airlines of the passengers by the end of 2015 will remain at the level of the previous year, passenger turnover (the number of people multiplied by the distance of transportation) will drop by about 7%.

“The drop in income obviously, and on short flights there is more money, and far — no”, — explained earlier, the Deputy Minister of transport Valery Okulov. By the airlines the year has brought a lot of surprises. So, did not materialize gloomy forecasts of analysts regarding the fate bogged down in debt “UTair”. It seems that the turbulence for her passed: during the year the company managed to avoid bankruptcy and to receive state support.

The largest Russian carrier by the end of the year was in an ambivalent situation: will the state support of “Aeroflot”, which took care of the passengers of “Transaero” and hired its former employees – will show time. While the company is content with bonuses in the form he inherited the most “tasty” areas of the former competitor and tries his hand as the chief legislator of prices in the airline industry than has already attracted the attention of the FAS.

Redistribution aviapoletov

The decline in the international segment of air travel became apparent at the end of last year, when he went into minus 5-6%. Overall, Russian airlines carried in 2014, more than 93 million passengers, showing an increase of 10%. The depth of sales was down to a month and a half.

In early 2015 it became obvious that the reduction of international air travel associated with reduced tourist appeal of traveling overseas due to the fall of the ruble. This economic phenomenon had its advantages: it’s beginning to push the growth of domestic tourism.

By October 2015, this trend became clearly manifest, and the lack of a fall of air transport in General. According to the Federal air transport Agency, the airline in January-October of 2015 increased the total volume of passenger transportation by 0.5% compared with the same period of 2014 — up to 80,885 million people. The carriage of passengers for 10 months on domestic routes amounted to $ 45,445 million people, exceeding the previous year by 15.5%. On international flights the passenger traffic on the contrary fell by 13.9% to 35,441 million people.

The exception was the daughter of Aeroflot “Victory”, which this year began going to foreign destinations in Bratislava (near Vienna) and Bergamo (near Milan).

Landing Transaero

The end of high tourist season in early September was marred by the stopping of the activity of the second largest airline of the Russian Federation — private company “Transaero”, which has been working since 1991. For 2014, the airline carried on its flights almost 13.2 million passengers.

She was not able to service the debt, constituting together with the lease obligations at September of 2015, about 250 billion rubles. Her tickets were no longer sold, and to fly the aircraft has been banned since October 26. Passengers until 15 December transported the group airlines “Aeroflot” and other carriers, including companies of group S7, Ural airlines.

Now the courts are littered with claims of creditors of the airline. But the assets that remained with Transaero airlines, just enough to cover the tax debts, the creditors may not get their money, such an opinion at the end of November was made by the shareholder and the representative of one of creditors of “Transaero”, which belongs, according to him, 4.5 per cent of the airline’s private shareholder of the airport “Vnukovo” Vitaly Vantsev.

The main successor of “Transaero” became its main competitor: 24 planes from the Park will be operated in the Aeroflot group. Half of the staff of 10 thousand people, will also be employed in the airlines group. Besides, “Aeroflot” received a permit on 56 international routes “Transaero” for a period of one year with the possibility of further extension. As said in an interview with the General Director of “Aeroflot” Vitaly Savelyev, the airline expects to return spent solutions to the problems of passengers “Transaero” about 17 billion rubles at the expense of the flights to these destinations.

The privileged position of “Aeroflot” has already provoked the conflict with the Antimonopoly service the Federal Antimonopoly service has warned that it may raise the question of the redistribution of these routes. In addition, the head of Department Igor Artemyev has expressed dissatisfaction with the pricing policy of Aeroflot and did not rule out the initiation of the antitrust case.

The exit from the zone of turbulence

“UTair”, which at the end of 2014, estimated the total size of private debt to 167 billion rubles, on the contrary, over the past year were able to negotiate with key creditors to restructure its debt, and it seems that after such air turbulence top management will soon be able to disable the scoreboard, “fasten your seatbelt”.

In November the Arbitration court of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous district discontinued the proceedings in bankruptcy “UTair” because of his refusal to the applicant on the case of bankruptcy of the Bank from its statement. Later, the newspaper “Vedomosti” reported that the airline signed an agreement on debt restructuring in the amount of RUB 43 billion with a syndicate of 11 banks. Final agreement on debt restructuring with creditors “UTair” may reach to the end of the year.

The General plan of salvation “UTair” included the activities of the government of the Russian Federation, Tyumen region, NPF “Surgutneftegas”, which is the main shareholder of the airline, and banking structures.

In particular, the authorities of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous district-Yugra, where UTair performs more than 90% air, and the Tyumen region contributed to the Charter capital of the airline respectively 2.5 and 11.5 billion rubles. Also, the carrier requested the government of the Russian Federation state guarantees for the sum about 40 billion rubles. The interdepartmental Commission under the Ministry of economic development in April approved the provision of airline guarantees in the amount of 19.2 billion rubles.

War in heaven

In 2015 for the first time in the history of aviation from terrorist threats imposed restrictions on the flights of Russians on two massive areas for recreation. From November 6, after the terrorist attack on Board a Russian airliner A321, which killed 224 people, Russia unilaterally stopped flights to Egypt. From November 14 has been stopped service of flights of EgyptAir at the Moscow airport “Domodedovo”. On 6 November in Egypt, according to Federal tourism Agency, there were about 79 thousand tourists who were returned to Russia.

In addition, from 1 December the government banned the sale of vacation packages and Charter flights to Turkey, with regular flights to this country will be under special control from the point of view of security. Restrictive measures against Turkey have been adopted after the tragedy with the Russian su-24 bomber, shot down Turkish military aircraft over Syria.

Head of transport Committee of the Association of tour operators of Russia (ATOR) Dmitry Gorin notes that on a monthly basis to Egypt flew 200-300 thousand tourists. According to the Deputy Director of the airport “Domodedovo” Denis Nuzhdin, from the closure of air links with Turkey the airports of the Russian Federation will lose 10% of areas in Egypt — 8%. The fall of the Russian market of Charter air transportation by the end of 2015, subject to the closing of Egypt and Turkey, will account for approximately 40% compared with last year, said in early December, Deputy Minister of transport of Russia Valery Okulov.

Closure Of Ukraine

The Ukrainian government on September 16 imposed sanctions on Russian airlines 25, two of which have already by that time existed. According to the document published on the website of the President of Ukraine, to the sanctions list includes the largest Russian carrier “Aeroflot” and its three subsidiary airlines — “Donavia”, “Orenburg airlines” and “Russia”, as well as pre-bankrupt airline “Transaero” in addition, the list includes the “Yakutia” airlines of the S7 group. According to the document, the carriers are partially or completely banned the transit of resources, flights and transportations through the territory of Ukraine.

All of these companies fly charters or regular flights in the Crimea became Russian. In response to the actions of Ukraine the Russian Federation has introduced mirror measures. Airlines of Russia and Ukraine since October 25, has suspended direct flights between the two countries.

For the first half of 2015, the passenger traffic between the two countries amounted to about 657 thousand people. Of them by Russian airlines 431 thousand people, such data were provided on 2 October, the Minister of infrastructure of Ukraine Andrey Pivovarsky. If prior to the ban, the average ticket price on flights to Kiev from Moscow were in the 7-8 thousand rubles, now from Moscow to Kiev can be reached only connecting flights, the cost of which ranges from 13 thousand rubles.