Utair has collected a controlling stake in Surgut airport

The airline has overtaken the Renova Group of oligarch Victor Vekselberg and Novaport Roman Trotsenko.
In February, the Utair Group acquired a 48% stake in OJSC "Airport Surgut" for 718.6 million rubles. and taking into account the already existing package of 8% gained control of the airport, PJSC UTair reported (flies under the brand Utair) in the reporting under IFRS.

Surgut Airport received 790,364 passengers in the first half of the year (the 21st indicator among Russian airports). Surgut is one of the main regional hubs for Utair, its main hub for passenger transportation is Vnukovo Airport. Utair is the fourth player in Russia in terms of traffic (4.3 million passengers in January-July), and its 100% subsidiary, UTair helicopter services, is the country's largest helicopter operator.

The group has a long-term loan in the amount of 791.6 million rubles. to purchase shares of the airport, the maturity date is 2020, the company said.

"This is a major airport, such assets are traditionally interesting. Utair as the basic base carrier of the airport can predict the dynamics of its passenger traffic. Despite the bad situation in the air market, the airline itself has a reasonably long-term program for the growth and renovation of the park. In addition, the airport is interesting for the helicopter works carried out from it, "says ACRA analyst Alexander Guschin. Based on the airport's RAS accounts, its EBITDA in 2017 was about 150 million rubles, given the structure of its obligations, the cost of the whole airport can be estimated at 1.2-1.5 billion rubles, adds Gushchin. Surgut Airport in 2017, according to SPARK-Interfax, had 3.6 billion rubles. revenues, 98 million rubles. profits from sales and 48 million rubles. net profit.

The airport does not disclose the shareholders. Top managers of the two airport holdings say that Utair bought shares from Surgutneftegaz. Through controlled non-state pension funds, Surgutneftegaz owns 50.112% and Utair itself.

On the asset could be other interesting people. Holding Airports of the Regions (included in Renova, Viktor Vekselberg) bought 20% of Surgut airport this year. "We have ideas and proposals for the development of the airport, including terminal infrastructure, and we are discussing them with other auctioneers and the government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District," says a representative of the Regional Airports. "The asset is definitely attractive. But the control package seems to be not sold, and small shares are not interesting to us. If Utair will consider selling a controlling stake, we will negotiate with it, "says the manager of the Novaport holding company (owned by Roman Trotsenko).

Other major Russian airlines do not own airports. In Russia, there are almost no carriers that own airports, including large airlines do not invest in airports. Undivided air squads (when one airline owns an airline and its base airport) until recently Saratov Airlines and Izhavia remained. In February, due to an error pilots plane An-148 "Saratov Airlines" crashed, killing all the former on board - 71 people. Since May 30 Rosaviatsia has stopped the flights of Saratov Airlines, the company began to perform only the functions of the airport.

"For a carrier, investing in your base airport is logic, although this is a rare event. In the long term, this may cause complaints from other airlines, if the conditions for access to airport services become unequal. In situations where the airline and the airport are affiliated, the competitive environment may suffer, "says Fyodor Borisov, a leading researcher at the Transport Economics Institute.