Rail connection to Moscow airports will be served by double-deck trains. The first such train has been already delivered to Aeroexpress, a company responsible for providing railway connection between Moscow airports and railway stations downtown. It will be most likely start operations on a line to Domodedovo airport.
The launch of the new service is planned for December this year, which is over a year behind the project’s original schedule. Representative of Gazprombank Leasing, sister company of Aeroleasing (both belong to Gazprombank) which leases the trains to Aeroexpress, said that the deal had taken over 2,5 years to close. He explained that the delays were caused by several factors, including the number of parties involved, difficulties in raising funds from Western banks and risk hedging. The project is one of the largest on the Russian leasing market this year, he said.
The deal value is estimated at 184 million euro. Under the contract 11 double-deck trains (the total of 62 double-deck carriages) will be delivered to Aeroexpress between December this year and the end of 2017. The trains are produced by Stadler Minsk, Belarusian branch of Swiss Stadler.
The initial plan called for direct purchase of 25 trains (118 carriages) for 381 million euro from Stadler. But later on, due to the plunge of the ruble’s value, the economic sanctions against Russia and declining passenger traffic the number was revised.
The new terms of the transaction minimize financial and legal risks for both Aeroexpress and the producer.
At the end of last year Aeroexpress reported a 22% YoY decline in passenger traffic. It had carried 13 million passengers. The company’s share of the total traffic carried in and out of Moscow airports decreased to 17% compared to 21.65% in 2014. One of the factors that affected the company’s market share was the rise of mobile taxi applications, which made this type of transport more readily available to many passengers.
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