Komiaviatrans aims to expand its network after avoiding bankruptcy | News

Russian regional carrier Komiaviatrans is aiming for expansion after an infusion of local government aid helped it avoid bankruptcy.

The Komi Republic Ministry of Economic Development says the airline had incurred debts of 4.2 billion rand ($55 million) by October last year.

Government officials approved a R1.8 billion financial aid package which was credited to the company’s accounts in December.

The ministry says this was used to pay obligations to suppliers, as well as salary and tax arrears, reducing the debt to 1.1 billion rubles in early January this year.

He specifies that the repayment of unpaid debts “will prevent the company from going bankrupt”.

The ministry discussed the state of the carrier in November 2021 and offered to offer the support of 1.8 billion rubles, on the condition that creditors support an agreement to cancel the bulk of the lease payment debts for the Embraer jets.

Vice-President of the Komi Government, Elmira Akhmeyeva, said these lease debts made up more than 40% of the company’s liabilities and were the “main factor” – along with weakening demand for transport, the pandemic and exchange rates – contributing to its difficult financial situation.

The implementation of the package has enabled the airline to retain its 1,600 employees, pay owed salaries and settle rental and tax debts, the ministry says.

“The elimination of bankruptcy risks has allowed Komiaviatrans to move on to stabilizing its financial situation,” he adds, allowing the airline to restore fleet capacity and increase production.

Komiaviatrans’ recovery plan will focus on developing its helicopter transport network, reintroducing rotorcraft that required repairs and acquiring new ones.

Maintenance will also be undertaken at airports in the republic.

“Komiaviatrans’ financial recovery plan has been successfully implemented,” says Akhmeyeva, adding that the government has been able to “preserve” a company necessary for social mobility. “The next task… is to ensure sustainable air transport with the creation of new intra-regional routes.”

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