Russian President Vladimir Putin has allocated two planes from the Rossiya air squad that serves the top officials of the state to transport passengers of the VIM-Avia airline from Turkey's Antalya. "The special flight detachment" Russia "on behalf of the Russian president will send two sides of the Tu-214 to Antalya for the export of passengers to the airline" VIM-Avia ", - said on Friday, September 29, RIA Novosti news agency, the press secretary of the presidential administration, Elena Krylova. She specified that one plane will fly at 13.00 Moscow time, the second - at 18.00. Both planes will be serviced at the Vnukovo airport.
Also on Friday, President Putin signed a decree to punish Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov for the crisis situation with the removal of passengers from foreign resorts because of debts of VIM-Avia. "Declare a disciplinary penalty in the form of incomplete service correspondence to the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation M. Sokolov," the text of the document, published on Friday, September 29, on the official Internet portal of legal information, reads. The decree notes that the recovery was announced at the suggestion of the government.
The head of state announced measures taken on Sokolov's disciplinary nature on September 27 at a Cabinet meeting. "And I want the minister to say: I declare to you about incomplete service correspondence. If you manage this situation quickly and effectively, then we will think with Dmitry Anatolyevich what to do with this incomplete service correspondence. If you do not manage, we'll think about it, "Putin said at the time (quoted by RIA Novosti).
The Russian president was surprised by Sokolov's explanation that VIM-Avia met the requirements set for aviation carriers. "If you have worked out such criteria, then what are they worth, if nothing is visible behind them? What kind of criteria are these? The criteria correspond, but can not work. Tens of thousands of people, tens of thousands were in a very difficult situation. Well, if it was the first time, but it's been going on for years, "Putin said.
He also criticized the vice-premier Arkady Dvorkovich, who oversees the transport industry in the government. "I draw the attention of the deputy prime minister in charge of transport: you do not pay enough attention to this industry, it's not enough. Maybe you are overwhelmed too? We have already talked about this, "Putin said. The Head of State instructed Dvorkovich and Sokolov to resolve the situation with the VIM-Avia air company efficiently and promptly, as well as prepare proposals for resolving the problems in the industry as a whole.
The total debt of VIM-Avia for services, fuel, airport and ground support of flights is about 1.3 billion rubles, the government said. "The head of the government signed an order to allocate Rosaviatsiya budgetary allocations in the amount of 98 million rubles for the provision since September 28 of the integrated services of aircraft of the airline VIM-Avia. Our main task at the moment is to ensure people return home. This is one of the solutions aimed at solving this problem, - said Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (quoted by RIA Novosti).
Difficulties of tourism
Tour operators are ready to finance the airlines to export passengers to the places of rest of passengers "VIM-Avia" with the date of departure until October 29, TASS reported citing a source familiar with the situation. According to him, tour operators plan to pay to airlines, so that carriers take their customers, which VIM-Avia should bring to the resorts.
"Tour operators want to pay for the re-delivery and take care of the guarantee that they will pay for those passengers who must fly after October 16, when there will be no VIM-Avia flights. And before October 16 export will be made out of off-budget sources, - the interlocutor of agency has told. - The depth of these transportations - until October 29 ». He added that "it can be any airlines, now there is a discussion with tour operators."
Forbes surveyed by tour operators could not confirm the likelihood of such a decision, but confirmed the fact of negotiations. At the same time, they refused to assess the volumes of financial losses of operators and tourists, as the situation may still change.
Tatiana Kruglova, TUI PR manager, in an interview with Forbes explained that the company is actively looking for solutions. "The problems of the airline reflected on our activities, as part of our tours on the basis of this air carrier. Basically, this is the Turkish direction, according to the terms until the end of the summer season - and this is up to the 20th October numbers in Turkey. At the moment, we are promptly looking for an alternative transportation for our customers, "she said.
Valeriya Romanenkova, the director of the marketing, sales and agency department of the ICS Travel tour operator, in her turn explained that with the "VIM-Avia" for the winter season, the tour operator did not plan the program, and the last two flights were left on the summer program on October 1 and 8 - we will replace them other carrier.
"In general, the situation for the market is not pleasant, to put it mildly. A number of tour operators, this airline takes a large percentage of transportation, someone has already planned a winter season with it. Of course, it will not be easy for them, as sales from many go with depth. But, it seems to me, at the moment when the summer programs are already over, and the winter has not yet started, it is possible to find additional capacities from other carriers, "Romanenkova is sure.
Escape owners and interrogations "without sleep and eating"
The situation with the departures of VIM-Avia flights worsened last weekend, after which the airline officially announced that it does not have enough finance to continue the work. Charter flights "VIM-Avia" ceased, but the regular continues to perform. For the export of passengers under the control of the Ministry of Transport and Rosaviatsiya other airlines have joined.
Investigators detained the general director and chief accountant of VIM-Avia in the embezzlement case. The co-owners of the company Rashid and Svetlana Mursekaevs fled the country, now the SC establishes where they are.
VIM-Avia Chief Accountant Yekaterina Panteleeva in the Investigative Committee gave detailed testimony about the massive cancellation of flights by the airline, its lawyer Ekaterina Pavlovskaya told Interfax.
"On the eve, being questioned as a witness, my client gave the investigator very detailed testimony, explaining the reasons for what happened. But, of course, she does not admit any thefts. This is absurd, "said the lawyer. Pavlovskaya said that her client arrived in the UK on September 27 at five o'clock in the evening to testify as a witness. After the interrogation, she was no longer allowed to go home, and by eleven o'clock on September 28 they had issued a detention.
"Since the interrogation as a witness lasted almost all night, without sleep and food, Panteleeva asked to postpone her questioning as a suspect. It will take place, as expected, tomorrow morning, "the lawyer summed up. According to her, the investigation will go to court with a motion on the measure of restraint of her client on September 29. Then the question will be resolved with the arrest of the general director of VIM-Avia, Alexander Kochnev. The Investigative Committee is investigating the criminal case under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud in a particularly large amount) on the theft of passengers' money by airline officials.
Who will pick up the assets
In January-August 2017, VIM-Avia carried 1,834,000 passengers (10th among Russian airlines, up 31% year-on-year), the average passenger seat occupancy rate was 76.1%. The airline ranks 11th in the country for cargo and mail transportation (11 700 tons).
The airline's revenue in 2016 was 17 billion 174 million rubles (an increase of 38% compared with 2015), net profit - 89.1 million rubles (a decrease of 5.7 times). As of September 2017, the VIM-Avia fleet consists of 23 aircraft: 12 Boeing 777s (leased in 2015-2017), four - Airbus A319 and Boeing 757, two Airbus A330s and one Boeing 767. The average age aircraft - 19 years. In July 2017, the company signed an agreement on the leasing of 15 new Russian aircraft MS-21.
The main owner is Svetlana Mursekayeva, she owns 99% of VIM-Avia, her husband Rashid - 1%. Svetlana and Rashid Mursekayev were put on the wanted list. According to Interfax sources, the spouses may be in Turkey.
Aeroflot is not interested in VIM-Avia assets, the airline said, commenting on the information published in a number of media about the beginning of the struggle for the assets and slots of VIM-Avia between the market participants. "Aeroflot" refutes any speculation of journalists that the company is engaged in any struggle for the assets of VIM-Avia. Aeroflot is not interested in airplanes, the route network or other assets of VIM-Avia, "the message says.