A new regional airline, Baikal, may appear on the Russian air market. It is created in Buryatia by the former governor of the Irkutsk region Sergey Eroshchenko, who already owns the Irkutsk carrier Angara. The region intends to involve Novanaport holding Romana Trotsenko, owning Ulan-Ude airport, and other local carriers to the Baikal project, but, for example, Baikalaviakom stated that Mr. Eroshchenko did not agree to let them into the capital of the new company. Experts note that regional transportation needs subsidies. In 2018, Buryatia is ready to allocate 60 million rubles for the support of local airlines.
The structure of the Eastland holding, controlled by the ex-head of the Irkutsk region Sergey Eroshchenko, registered the Baikal airline in Buryatia, the press service of the regional government reported. The agreement on the creation of the carrier was reached at the meeting of the head of Buryatia, the former deputy head of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation Alexei Tydenov and the owner of Novaport holding Roman Trotsenko. "Baikal" will be based at the airport of Ulan-Ude, which in 2017 Novaport bought from Mikhail Metropolitan Mikhail Slipenchuk. The holding company declined to comment.
"Baikal" plans to begin flights in August, when it receives an operator's certificate. At the first stage the park will consist of three An-24. "Baikal" will fly to Nizhneeangarsk and Taksimo (passenger traffic of both no more than 6 thousand people per year). On local air transport the region in 2018 gives 60 million rubles. According to the Ministry of Transport of Buryatia, at the expense of subsidies, the price of a ticket to one side dropped to 6-7 thousand rubles, loading seats rose to 75%.
The Irkutsk airline Angara (part of Eastland), the Buryat Baikalaviakom, the PANH (transporting goods) and the Buryat Airlines participate in the creation of Baikal. The last company in the bankruptcy stage, but its owners, with the support of the region, created in 2017 "Baikalaviakom" (according to Kartoteka.ru, the owner Roman Diaghilev) until it received an operator's certificate.
In 2017, companies with a passenger flow to several thousand people a year transported about 700 thousand people (0.7% of all traffic). Regional air transport and small airfields receive state support: Rosaviatsia subsidizes seven FKPs in the Far North and the Arctic (66 airports and 15 landing sites). In 2016 subsidies were 3.4 billion rubles, 710 thousand passengers and 9.7 thousand tons of cargo were transported.
In the Buryatia Ministry of Transport, Kommersant was told that initially the option of opening the Angara branch in Buryatia was considered, but later it was decided to create an airline with a registration in Ulan-Ude with the participation of other carriers. In the Angara, Kommersant was informed that Baikal is a joint project of Eastland and the government of Buryatia. "Other proposals for merging the business have not been forthcoming," said Alexander Kaygorodov, head of the department for interaction with state structures of the Angara. He also said that documents for obtaining an operator's certificate are planned to be transferred to Rosaviatsiya in late February. "So far, the terms of participation of our company in Baikal are not being discussed," Konstantin Osin, director of Baikalaviakoma, told Kommersant. "We offered the option of entering with a stake in the new airline, but Mr. Eroschenko did not want to." "Unless we agree, we will remain on the air transportation market and will fly on smaller aircraft," Mr. Osin said. "Baikalaviakom" now carries out sanitary flights and flights on protection of forests.
The executive director of the "Airport" Oleg Panteleyev says that a single operator can significantly reduce fixed costs. "The cost price of passenger transportation on local lines is several times more expensive than on main lines," the expert notes. "The situation is aggravated by extremely high rates of take-off and landing fees at local airfields beyond the Urals." At the same time, solvent demand in the regions does not cover economically justified tariffs, Mr. Panteleev believes, so transportation within or between regions is impossible without subsidizing.