VIM-Avia airline is short on fuel

The company disrupted the transportation of passengers once again.
VIM-Avia, which began the summer season of flights with a large-scale disruption of the charter program, was threatened with a halt. Due to debts for fuel more than 20 flights were unable to fly out of Domodedovo on time. Now the airline will be taken over by Rosaviatsia and the Ministry of Transport, as well as the prosecutor's office, which has already established that VIM-Avia was selling tickets, knowing the impossibility of a flight within the specified time.

Ministry of Transport and Rosaviatsiya on September 24, resumed the work of the anti-crisis headquarters in order to prevent transport failures of VIM-Avia. For the first time, the headquarters was established in June, when, due to a shortage of aircraft, the carrier broke the charter program late with scheduled maintenance, and foreign Bulgaria Air and Onur Air were involved in the export of passengers. For flights of other carriers, 220 thousand people were transferred.

This weekend more than 20 VIM-Avia aircraft could not fly out of Domodedovo in time. According to Rosaviation, long delays are associated with the airline's debts for fuel. The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) reported that VIM-Avia began partial payment of Domodedovo debt. According to ATOR calculations, all flights of the airline should depart from Moscow within two days. Until the end of the season, it needs to serve 27 thousand tourists. Domodedovo declined to comment.

According to Kommersant, because of the difficulties in paying for fuel, VIM-Avia decided to stop flights from Moscow to Magadan from October (officially, the carrier only talks about possible "adjustments"). In VIM-Avia itself, they only note that "temporary difficulties with the schedule are caused by the traditional seasonal decline, which led to disputes between business entities and delays in flights."

The settlement plan, assured the airline, is being developed in conjunction with financial organizations that decided to support it, reached preliminary agreements that "must rectify the situation."

According to Kommersant's information, the financial condition of the carrier was discussed at a meeting in Rosaviatsia last week with the participation of the owner of the company Rashid Mursekaev, the guarantees were agreed to provide the government of Tatarstan, where VIM-Avia, Zenit and Tatneft are registered. But the source of Kommersant clarifies that the guarantee period will expire on September 25 and the company will either have to negotiate an extension or look for new ones.

"VIM-Avia" belongs to the spouses of Rashid and Svetlana Mursekaev, occupies the 10th place in terms of the number of passengers carried. From January to August, served 1.8 million people (an increase of 31.4%). According to the portal, there are 26 aircraft in the fleet, of which 20 fly, including eight long-haul Boeing 777s, two A330s, one Boeing 767s, nine narrow-body Boeing 737s, Boeing 757s and A319s. According to SPARK, the company's revenue in 2016 was 17.1 billion rubles, net profit - 89 million rubles. The volume of loans and loans - 5.8 billion rubles., Accounts payable - 3.1 billion rubles. In a pledge of banks "Zenith", "Absolute", "Education" and other creditors of 20 aircraft engines and five auxiliary installations.

Sources of Kommersant on the air market say that since February, "everyone was surprised by the aggressive expansion of the fleet" of the carrier due to long-haul aircraft: "In memory, the history of Transaero is fresh, which actively increased the long-haul fleet and traffic volumes, working at a loss and not having reliable sources of return of investments ". In the case of VIM-Avia, the calculation was probably made on tourists from China. The company received permits for about 20 direct routes to China, developed transit transport from there to Belgian Liege with transfers in Moscow and St. Petersburg. But as a result, "VIM-Avia" did not have enough crews and ships (see "Kommersant" on June 8). In addition, the strengthening of the ruble somewhat lowered interest in the Russian Federation from Chinese tourists.

The Transport Ministry has already instructed Rosaviation and air carriers to identify those responsible for the specific VIM-Avia routes, if the company can not fly.

The tour operator Muzenidis Travel began to transport tourists from Sheremetyevo with the sides of its own EllinAir. In general, Rosaviatsia will assess the "potential financial risks" of VIM-Avia "for passenger transportation" by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Moscow Interregional Investigation Department on Transport launched a pre-investigation check on ticket sales for flights on September 22 and 23, as VIM-Avia was aware of the inability to perform these flights.

Fyodor Borisov, chief expert at the Institute of Transport Economics and Transport Policy of the Higher School of Economics, believes that the appearance of a new bankrupt on the air market was a matter of time. After the departure of Transaero and its freight tanks, many managed to finish 2016 at an economical level due to the redistribution of passenger traffic. Further restoration of the market was interpreted by carriers as a signal to a sharp increase in the fleet, which inevitably led to a reduction in tariff and loss of profitability, Mr. Borisov said. But such a policy, he emphasizes, is "short-sighted and fraught with fatal financial risks."