Transaero didn't win back the right to fly

The Supreme Court did not give us a chance to challenge the decision of the Federal Air Transport Agency.
Transaero airline, which stopped all flights in September 2015 and had previously held the second place in the Russian Federation in terms of passenger traffic, lost the the last opportunity to restore its certificate of the operator, the main document giving the right to perform air services. The Supreme Court refused to review the case on revoking the certificate, failing to find "evidence of a significant breach of the law." Transaero can still file a complaint tp the deputy head of the Supreme Court, but given the statistics, the chances of a favorable outcome for the company are vanishingly small.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the decisions of lower courts that recognized Rosaviatsiya's order to annul the operator's certificate of Transaero Airlines, which is in bankruptcy proceedings, as follows from the published court ruling. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal petition of Transaero, which asked to forward the case for review to the judicial panel on economic disputes. The decision is due to the fact that the applicant's arguments have already "received a proper legal assessment of the courts" and do not confirm "a significant breach of substantive and procedural law". The definition of the Arbitration Court also notes that the reassessment of evidence and the established circumstances of the dispute does not fall within the competence of the cassation instance of the Arbitral Tribunal.

Rosaviatsia canceled the certificate of the second largest airline "Transaero" (carried 13.2 million passengers in 2014) in late October 2015 following an unscheduled audit of its financial and economic condition. The reason for the audit was the deterioration of flight safety, financial performance and the initiation of a bankruptcy case. The Rosaviatsia Commission then considered that Transaero could no longer independently service and repay its debt, which in June, taking into account leasing payments, was estimated at more than 260 billion rubles. In the commission's opinion, Transaero also failed to comply with general certification requirements and violated consumer rights. In mid-December 2015, the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, on the application of Sberbank, introduced external supervision to Transaero.

The withdrawal of the certificate deprived Transaero of its last chance to save the business. The international routes of the carrier, considered more profitable than domestic, were redistributed by Rosaviatsia between other airlines, with 56 routes received by the Aeroflot group. Transaero tried to challenge Rosaviatsia's decision to annul the certificate, but in April 2016 the Moscow Arbitration Court rejected the company's application. Then this decision was confirmed by the appellate instance, and in November the decision upheld the arbitration court of the Moscow district.

It follows from the decision of the Supreme Court that the court found all three Rosaviatsia's arguments to be valid for the certificate to be void: the carrier's failure to comply with general certification rules, violation of consumer rights (cancellation of more than 300 flights), and deterioration of financial and economic performance. In court, the representative of the airline said that the violation of certification rules had been in the absence of attestation of the CEO of Transaero Dmitry Saprykin, who had held this post from September 7 to October 23, 2015 (Mr. Saprykin was the head of Transaero during the period when Aeroflot tried to conduct rehabilitation of the troubled airline, now the manager is heading the subsidiary airline of Aeroflot - "Russia"). Transaero also claimed in court that Rosaviatsiya did not prove specific violations of consumer rights, since the cancellation of more than 300 flights within two months for a company that carried out more than 100 flights a day was not critical. And the worsening of the financial situation, according to the applicant, was due to the systemic crisis in the industry and the economy as a whole.

The decision to refuse to transfer the case to the Economic Disputes Panel (CEC) actually means that it is not possible to review the decisions of the lower courts. Transaero still has a procedural opportunity to appeal this decision by sending a complaint to the deputy chairman of the Supreme Court. He has the right to disagree with the refusal determination and independently pass the complaint to the IES, however, given the statistics of the cases considered by the Supreme Court, the chances of a favorable outcome for Transaero are extremely small.