UVT Aero about VIM Airlines's Boeings: “We do not need this garbage”

Pyotr Trubaev will not buy airliners of the collapsed airline despite the initial price lowered to the minimum level

UVT Aero about VIM Airlines's Boeings: “We do not need this garbage”
Photo: samolety.org

As it became known to Realnoe Vremya, not a single application was submitted to participate in the auction for the sale of the inheritance of the scandalously bankrupt VIM Airlines air carrier. Two similar Airliners Boeing-757-200, auctioned in separate lots, but with different prices — 259,7 million and 756,9 million rubles, remained unclaimed. The main contender for the carrier's “legacy” — Tatarstan airline UVT Aero — was not satisfied with the venerable age of the aircraft (about 25-30 years). “We do not this garbage. We don't want to invest even more in repairs," says Director General of UVT Aero Pyotr Trubaev. At the same time, he assures that the regional airline has not abandoned plans to update the fleet with Brazilian Embraer 190, which should arrive in early 2021.

VIM Airlines's Boeings waiting for customers

Repeated auctions for the sale of two used Boeing-757-200 aircraft, which were operated by bankrupt VIM Airlines on tourist routes, were again declared invalid. None of the airliners received applications, the operator of the auction Russian Auction House reported on its electronic platform. VIM Airlines's bankruptcy trustee, Vyacheslav Kononov, confirmed to Realnoe Vremya that the auction results were zero on December 4 but declined to comment. A new auction date has not yet been set.

At the December auction, airliners were placed again after the first failed trading session at the beginning of this year. As it follows from the notice of the bankruptcy trustee, the airplanes were auctioned in separate lots, but with very different initial prices for similar types of aircraft. The Boeing-757-200 under the registration number RA-73016 with engines and power plant installed on it was auctioned for 288,6 million rubles, and its “twin” Boeing-757-200 under the registration number RA-73017 with engines and power plant, but being pledged to RNGO PLC, — for 841 million rubles. For comparison, the catalog price of the Boeing-757-200, including duties and VAT, is $104 million.

All this time, the equipment is stored at the Zhukovsky airport. Photo: A. Savin/wikipedia. org

Minus 10%

At repeated auctions, the sales scheme was kept the same, but prices were lowered by 10%. The first car was auctioned for 259,7 million rubles, the second — for 756,7 million rubles. The big difference in the initial prices is explained by that the second car is “collateral”. As it is known, RNGO PLC, which is close to the structures of Tatneft, at one time bought out the debts of VIM Airlines airline for 3 billion rubles from Zenit Bank.

All this time, the equipment is stored at the Zhukovsky airport, according to the materials of the bankruptcy trustee. You can guess that for 3 years of downtime after the termination of VIM Airlines's activities, the aircraft did not undergo maintenance. Interest in buying equipment should have been encouraged by that large banking structures, such as VTB Leasing, stopped entering into aircraft leasing transactions. But despite the price drop, there were no buyers again. The next auction will also be held with a 10% price reduction.

UVT Aero did not refuse Embraer 190

Theoretically, Tatarstan's UVT Aero, which has long declared its readiness to expand the geography of flights, could show interest in cheaper cars. Boeing-757-200's flight range — 4-7 thousands of km, which is comparable to the Brazilian Embraer 190 (4,5 thousand km), which the airline is going to buy this year.

“These are old used airliners. We do not this garbage. We don't want to invest even more in repairs," Pyotr Trubaev, CEO of UVT Aero, categorically denied the possibility of such purchase in a conversation with Realnoe Vremya.

According to him, the acceptable “age” of a car that could interest his company is 10 years, “well, no more than 15 years”. Photo: Maksim Platonov

According to him, the acceptable “age” of a car that could interest his company is 10 years, “well, no more than 15 years”. Outdated equipment with a problematic technical condition generates more expenses than it makes a profit, he said. On the other hand, it may be difficult to extend the operational life of these machines. Here it should be noted that formally the Federal Air Transport Agency has no restrictions on the “age” of aircraft and everything depends on the technical condition. So, if desired, 25-30 years is not a hindrance to the sale.

According to the CEO, the airline did not abandon plans to update the fleet with Brazilian Embraer 190, which were necessary for flights to Europe. But he asked me not to ask about it yet. Earlier, Pyotr Trubaev said that the company intends to receive two aircraft in the first half of 2021, and the fleet of seven 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 of Canadian production will continue to work.

AeroBratsk suspended for 3 years

VIM Airlines stopped operating the flight charter programme in the autumn of 2017, abandoning tourists at foreign resorts. “For the transportation of VIM Airlines's passengers, the government of the Russian Federation adopted directives granting Aeroflot PJSC the right to use its own funds in the amount of up to 1,8 billion rubles to finance the operating and financial activities of VIM Airlines on the basis of a written instruction from the Federal Air Transport Agency, followed by compensation for mutual settlements between Aeroflot PJSC and the industry," Alexander Neradko, the head of Federal Air Transport Agency, said.

In October 2018, the Tatarstan Arbitration Court declared VIM Airlines PLC bankrupt and opened bankruptcy proceedings against it.

At the same time, the sale of another major asset of VIM Airlines — the airport of Aerobratsk PJSC, which was 99% owned by Svetlana Mursekayeva, the wife of Rashid Mursekayev, stalled. The airport is an important base for developing the northern regions of Eastern Siberia and the Far East. In November, the shares of AeroBratsk PJSC were placed for auction at a price of 495 million rubles, but again no bids were submitted.

Sergey Korytov, the director general of AeroBratsk PJSC, told Realnoe Vremya that the airport had been placed for auction for three years but did not find buyers. “We don't follow this [story] anymore," he admitted. As follows from the notice of the bankruptcy trustee, the property of the complex was seized 2 years ago by the Meshchansky district court of Moscow in the framework of a criminal case.

In October 2018, the Tatarstan Arbitration Сourt declared VIM Airlines PLC bankrupt. Photo: Maksim Platonov

According to the bankruptcy trustee, the total debt of VIM Airlines is 7,1 billion rubles. Initially, the largest lender of the company was Zenit Bank, but the debt to it in 3 billion rubles was bought by RNGO. The rest of the debt fell on Absolut Bank, JSCIB Obrazovanie, ASV Group, Transcapitalbank, and JSCIB Avangard.

After the collapse of VIM Airlines, the owners Mursekaevs left the country. At the end of November, Svetlana Mursekayeva was put on the international wanted list and arrested in absentia on charges of fraud.
This decision was made by the Basmanny court of Moscow in the case of VIM-Avia fraud. Among the suspects in the case are former CEO of the company Alexander Kochnev, accountant Yekaterina Panteleeva, as well as Vice-President Alevtina Kalashnikova and co-owner of the airline Rashid Mursekaev. It turned out that 99% of the airline's shares also belong not to him, but to his wife Svetlana. The investigation believes that the couple deliberately bankrupted the company, and when the fraud was discovered, they fled Russia.

By Luiza Ignatyeva
Analytics Tatarstan