Sberbank and VTB consider creating regional airline on the base of Utair

UtairSberbank and VTB, on the instructions of the President and the government, are developing a project for establishing a regional airline. The project envisages either establishing a new airline or using an already indebted airline. An option is being considered to take Utair by converting the debt to Sberbank into shares.

However, it is possible to use Utair in a project without obtaining a share in it, but simply concluding an agreement on transportation. Such an option would be more transparent. The carrier for the project could then be selected by competition, there are other applicants besides Utair.

“Banks are considering various options. The model is still under development and consideration, so it’s premature to comment on any details”, said a representative of VTB.

His colleagues from Sberbank and Utair declined to comment.

Utair has debt issues, suspending payments on 7-year loans in December and accumulates resources for the performance of interest expenses in a profitable summer period.

Specific proposals from banks to participate in a regional airline project in any form have not yet been.

Utair is a Russian airline with its head office at Khanty-Mansiysk Airport, while its hubs are at Surgut International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport. It operates scheduled domestic and some international passenger services, scheduled helicopter services, and extensive charter flights with fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in support of the oil and gas industry across western Siberia.