Transaero Airlines Tu214

Russia’s Transaero may soon suspend operations

Sanctions imposed on Russia since March 2014, the depreciation of the rouble, a drop in consumer demand and restrictions imposed on flights over Ukraine airspace are among the factors challenging Russian carriers and last week reports about the Russia’s second-largest airline “Transaero” in the Russian media showed that the carrier may soon suspend operations.

Vladimir Tasun, president of the Russian Association of Air Transport Operators said that Russian airlines suffered losses of RUB 19 billion roubles ($275 million) just in the first quarter of 2015, and more losses are expected this year.

The Director of Moscow’s Domodevo airport Igor Borisov has formally informed the Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov that Transaero’s obligations to pay for ground handling services now exceed RUB 187 million roubles ($270,000), the Daily Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday. The management of Anapa airport near Krasnodar oblast’s Black Sea resort has written to Transaero’s management, and to the Federal Air Transport Agency, that from August 25, it may suspend providing ground handling services if Transaero does not clear its outstanding debts.

Sberbank has offered Transaero a covenant holiday on leasing payments through 1 October, the bank said in a statement on Thursday. This may just help Transaero to overcome its immediate problem to make payments for outstanding charges owed to its air fuel suppliers for the past several months. However, as the summer season passenger demand slows down, the airline is expected to again need to borrow from a pool of domestic lenders to refinance its debt.

Source: AA / Najam Abbas

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