Russian air carrier UTair involved in bankruptcy proceedings
MOSCOW, December 8, (RAPSI) - The Avialeasing investment and finance company filed a motion with the Khanty-Mansiisk Region Commercial Court to recognize Russian air carrier UTair as a bankrupt, the court says on its website on Monday.
UTair is a leading Russian airline and the second largest domestic carrier.
The UTair Group comprises UTair Aviation, UTair Express, UTair-Ukraine, UTair-Cargo, Nefteyugansk OAO, Helisur, UTair Europe s.r.o., and UTair South Africa (Pty) Ltd. UTair's fleet includes 184 aircraft.
Avialeasing reports that a bankruptcy petition was filed “due to UTair’s failure to fulfill judicial rulings worth 3.5 million rubles ($66,130).”
UTair’s difficult financial situation is the result of a lack of demand for air service. Last summer, the carrier announced it was launching a program to reduce expenses that required a reduction in managerial staff, an optimization of the route network, and a reduction in service frequency. In September, one of the company’s major airports, Vnukovo, reverted to pre-paid service for the airline.
Over the past several months, UTair has become involved in several costly lawsuits. In September, Gazprom Avia filed two claims against UTair with the Khanty-Mansiisk Commercial Court that were worth a total of 125 mn rubles ($2.3 mn). In late November, Airport Rostov-on-Don filed a 28.6 mln ruble claim ($540,300) against UTair. Later, Airport Kurgan filed a 6.5 mn ruble ($122,800) lawsuit with the Kurgan Regional Commercial Court. On December 3, the Moscow Commercial Court seized UTair’s funds and property worth $11,854 as a result of a debt related lawsuit by Alfa Bank.