Russian bank showers #3 airline UTair with lawsuits amid bankruptcy fears
In late November, Alfa-Bank sued the airline in a Moscow court for an unpaid debt of $11.85 million. On Tuesday, court bailiffs seized UTair’s seven Mi-8 helicopters, TASS reports.
UTair on Monday rejected the bankruptcy reports in the media, saying it was operating in “standard mode.”
“We aim to constructively fix all the financial problems. Filing a bankruptcy petition is a standard tool used by the creditors that have a small amount of debt to claim,” Andrey Martirosov, UTair CEO said.
On Monday, UTair settled part of its $67,000 million debt to Avialeasing, TASS said. It had filed a bankruptcy petition against the carrier, claiming the airline had failed to pay the leases on a number of Tu-154-M planes.
The Russian government has been quick to react, saying it is “discussing” ways to help UTair out of its problem, according to Russia’s Vice Premier Arkady Dvorkovich.
— Russian Market (@russian_market) December 9, 2014
Currently UTair is being sued for more than $13 million.
UTair is the third airline in terms of passenger traffic in Russia. The total debt of the company is about $1.1 billion (60 billion rubles). UTair revenue for the first half of 2014 amounted to $600 million (32.8 billion rubles) with net profit of $100,000 (5.5 million rubles).