Russia’s aviation authorities have prohibited regional carrier Komiaviatrans from operating all international passenger flights. According to aviation agency Rosaviatsiya’s resolution dated August 14, the restriction allegedly follows the airline’s poor financial performance in the first quarter of this year.
Komiaviatrans, which suffered a 173.7 million rubles (some US$3 million) net loss last year, launched international services in the summer of 2016, initially offering flights to Azerbaijani capital Baku, followed this year by the launch of services to two destinations in Kazakhstan. Currently it does not list any routes outside Russia in its flight schedules.
According to Rosaviatsiya’s data, Komiaviatrans has a fleet of three 50-seat Embraer ERJ145LR regional jets, two 19-seat L-410UVP-E20 turboprops and a mix of 18 Mil Mi-8 helicopters in various modifications. At the end of last year the carrier was 31st in the passenger traffic ratings of Russian airlines, having carried 146,200 passengers, down 25 per cent year-on-year. It retained that position through the first half of this year, but its numbers continued to slide by 6.3 per cent to 62,900 passengers in the period. Neither the regulator, nor the airline has disclosed the financial performance indicators for this year.
Komiaviatrans is owned by the administration of Komi Republic – a federal dominion of the Russian Federation located in the northwest of the country – whose industries include oil processing, timber, woodworking, natural gas and electric power industries. Ongoing allocated subsidy payments for the development of regional air connections bring in a total of 0.25 billion rubles (US$4 million) per year.
Last year, Sergey Gallikov, the head of Komi’s administration, reiterated that his government will continue to support the airline, including upgrading its fleet, finding new investors, facilitating entry into markets and covering its outstanding lease payments.
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