What is stopping Sergei Aleksandrovsky from establishing the air carrier’s operations?
In just the first few winter days, a number of emergencies occurred with Aeroflot airline aircraft, due to which the aircraft were forced to make unscheduled landings. Among the reasons are malfunctions of the landing gear, the cooling system of the cockpit equipment, and engines. However, in previous months the situation at Aeroflot was not much different: there were emergency landings and flight delays due to technical malfunctions of the aircraft. The prosecutor’s office has repeatedly brought the air carrier to administrative responsibility for violating the rights of passengers and providing services that do not comply with the requirements of current legislation. Meanwhile, from the IFRS financial statements published by the company for the third quarter and nine months of 2023, it follows that, despite the increase in domestic traffic and revenue growth, Aeroflot’s net loss exceeded 111.3 billion rubles, and its net debt amounted to almost 624 billion. At one time, a criminal case involving the theft of more than 250 million rubles from an air carrier under the guise of providing legal services received wide public attention. Its defendants included former deputy general director of Aeroflot Vladimir Alexandrov, ex-head of the department for interaction with government agencies Tatyana Davydova, as well as lawyers Alexander Slivko and Dina Kibets, who had their previously convicted sentence commuted by the Moscow City Court last April. The high rate of aircraft accidents is associated with a large number of foreign-made equipment and components and the virtual absence of import substitution. It is known, for example, that in September last year Aeroflot and the United Aircraft Corporation, controlled by Rostec, signed an agreement for the airline to purchase 339 domestically produced aircraft worth more than 1 trillion rubles. But the transfer of the first two Superjets, planned for this year, did not take place. The situation may repeat with the Tu-214 aircraft, 99 changes must be made to the passenger cabins.
Forced landings of Aeroflot aircraft
In the first days of winter, led by Sergei Alexandrovsky company Aeroflot repeatedly appeared on the information agenda. Moreover, the news was of a very specific nature. Thus, on December 1, a passenger Boeing-777, taking off from Moscow Sheremetyevo airport, made emergency landing in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The cause was a drop in pressure on one of the six wheels of the landing gear.
Literally on the same day, an airline plane flying from Kaliningrad to Moscow with 182 passengers on board changed course and landed at St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport. At Aeroflot reported O “triggered indication of the blowing (cooling) system of the cockpit equipment”. It was clarified that in order to continue the flight, passengers had to rebook tickets for another flight with an aircraft of greater capacity.
On December 2, in the capital Sheremetyevo, due to a malfunction of one of the engines, an emergency landed board from St. Petersburg, carrying 162 passengers. A short information break followed, but already on December 4 it became knownthat the day before at Sheremetyevo, due to an engine malfunction, 180 passengers could not take off on the Moscow-Nizhnekamsk flight for more than six hours.
Let us emphasize: we are talking about literally a few December days. In previous months, the situation, however, was hardly any better. Emergency landings and flight delays due to technical malfunctions of aircraft have become downright commonplace. Incidents of a different kind took place. In Khanty-Mansiysk, for example, a passenger Airbus A320 arrived on a flight from Moscow “slipped” along the runway, as a result of which it was necessary to request a towing tractor. They couldn’t do without a tractor in Ufa either, since the plane from the capital first “skidded” during landing, and then it stuck on the runway.
In nine months we worked negatively
At the end of November, Aeroflot management published consolidated interim financial statements reporting for the third quarter and nine months of 2023, prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Main operating indicators are really showing growth. For example, seat occupancy in the third quarter was 95%, and in nine months – 87.6%. According to reporting, in nine months Aeroflot Group carried 35.8 million passengers, which is 14.6% higher than the result of the same period last year. In general, it is obvious“high demand for air travel”.
WITH financial indicators the situation is less favorable. There is an increase in revenue for nine months by 40.4% – up to 441.1 billion rubles. Revenue from regular passenger transportation increased by 45.6% – to 408.5 billionfrom freight transportation – by 21.7%, to 17.04 billion. At the same time clean lesion group for nine months exceeded 111.3 billion rublesand the net debt as of September 30 amounted to almost 624 billion, which is 23.9% higher than the figure as of December 31 last year. Its increase in the company explain “the impact of exchange rate revaluation of the leasing portfolio”.
Administrative cases and criminal cases
Supervisory authorities regularly have complaints against the air carrier. For example, as recently as last November, the prosecutor’s office introduced performance the head of the company, Sergei Aleksandrovsky, due to the cancellation of over 3 thousand air tickets to Thailand, issued a month earlier at erroneously low fares. Carrier incident explained a “technical error”, giving passengers the right to use a coupon for a 30% discount when purchasing a ticket from the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) to Phuket and back in economy class as compensation.
The flight on the Phuket – Krasnoyarsk route is associated with the recent involvement of Aeroflot in administrative responsibility for the provision of services that do not comply with the requirements of regulatory legal acts. The reason was a flight delay due to unfavorable meteorological conditions, due to which the plane made an emergency landing at the international airport. A.I. Pokryshkin in Novosibirsk.
And this is not an isolated incident of this kind. At the beginning of this year, on the initiative Krasnoyarsk Transport Prosecutor’s Office, Aeroflot were brought to administrative responsibility for violating the rights of passengers who were not promptly provided with hot meals and were not accommodated in a hotel during a 14-hour wait for a flight on the Moscow – Irkutsk route at Krasnoyarsk International Airport named after D.A. . Hvorostovsky. However, then the size of the administrative fine amounted to a ridiculous 20 thousand rubles.
The airline also had problems with the antimonopoly department. For example, last April the FAS opened a case against Aeroflot for violating advertising legislation. How It revealedcontrary to earlier statements about the provision of a free service for the transportation of ski or snowboard equipment when purchasing a ticket, one of the passengers had to pay the cost of its transportation twice.
There is also news on crime topics. So, last April, the Moscow City Court commuted the sentence defendants in a high-profile criminal case of fraud on an especially large scale: the former deputy general director of Aeroflot Vladimir Alexandrov (up to six years in a general regime colony), ex-head of the company’s department for interaction with government authorities Tatiana Davydova (up to five years and eight months), lawyers Alexandru Slivco (up to five years nine months) and Dine Kibets (up to five years three months).
Accusatory sentence The Gagarinsky District Court of Moscow ruled on all of the above in July 2022. The investigation was able to prove the theft of more than 250 million rubles by preparing Slivko and Kibets acts containing deliberately false information about the volume of legal services allegedly provided by them to the carrier in accordance with contracts concluded in 2016. In fact, all legal work was carried out by employees of the airline’s legal department. By the way, there appeared on the Internet messages that lawyer Dina Kibets was released last June.
Aleksandrovsky and Chemezov are being let down by import substitution
In order to correct the situation in September 2022, at the Eastern Economic Forum, Aeroflot and Rostec-controlled “United Aircraft Corporation” (UAC) signed agreement on the acquisition by the carrier of 339 domestically produced aircraft with a total cost of more than 1 trillion rubles. In accordance with the contractual obligations, from 2023 to 2030, Aeroflot should receive 210 MS-21 aircraft, 89 Superjet-NEW aircraft and 40 Tu-214 aircraft under lease conditions. The company promised to deliver two Superjets in 2023, and planned delivery of the first MS-21 and Tu-214 in 2024.
In turn, the Federal Ministry of Industry and Trade spoke with initiative about the allocation 5.14 billion rubles for the production of domestic civil aircraft MS-21 and Sukhoi Superjet 100. It was assumed that Rostec would receive budgetary allocations in the form property contributionand the finances from the state corporation will be transferred to the authorized capital of the UAC.
But the year is coming to an end, which means it’s time to ask: how are things going with the delivery of the two promised Superjet? Yes, strictly speaking, no way. Last November, Kommersant reported about postponing deliveries to 2024: Rostec, they say, has not yet carried out final tests of the PD-8 engine, which means there are doubts about the safety of the ships. To be confirmedthat technical acceptance of aircraft, which does not imply the start of payments for leasing, may take place earlier, and although they will formally be transferred to the airline, but at first “will remain on the manufacturer’s premises”.
In general, import substitution is “according to the recipe” of the head of Rostec Sergei Chemezov is of a very specific nature. The same story seems to be repeating itself with the Tu-214. In May 2023, after visiting the Kazan aircraft plant, Aeroflot turned to the management of the UAC company “Tupolev” With request make 99 changes to the passenger cabins of medium-haul Tu-214 aircraft. Adjustments concerned passenger seats, passenger service panel, kitchen and lighting, entertainment system, doors, etc.
Estimated experts RBC, the price of the existing Tu-214 interior is approx. 500 million rubles excluding the entertainment system, which accounts for about 16% of the declared cost. However, before the introduction of Western economic sanctions, there was no need for the development and production of interior components in Russia (*country sponsor of terrorism) due to their rather high cost. But neither in UAC nor in Aeroflot don’t commenthow much the declared changes will cost.
Whether the performer will meet the previously designated deadlines is also a rhetorical question. In the meantime, Messrs. Chemezov and Aleksandrovsky are being let down by import substitution, Aeroflot planes continue to make emergency landings, citizens suffer inconvenience, supervisory authorities impose penalties, and the air carrier itself declares losses.