UTair CEO Andrey Martirosov announced a possible shutdown of 30% of the airline’s helicopter fleet if problems with spare parts cannot be resolved. “Russian imports are back to 2020 levels.” Bloomberg told how Moscow bypasses sanctions Russia, with the help of third countries that have not announced sanctions against it, successfully bypasses EU and G7 restrictions … 04 March 23:26
“We are making a forecast for our fleet — if the situation does not change, then there will be a 30% shutdown. I think the situation is no better for other operators, ”he said at the HeliRussia helicopter industry exhibition (quoted by RIA Novosti).
As Martirosov clarified, the most acute shortage is felt with helicopter engines.
“Both for foreign-made helicopters, and for domestic helicopters, on which the engines are not of domestic production,” he added.
Due to the lack of units and components, the company is losing revenue, and “customers find other solutions,” the head of UTair complained.
The fleet of UTair’s subsidiary, UTair Helicopter Services, has more than 300 helicopters. Among them are 158 from the Mi-8 family and seven Mi-26Ts.
Previously, the Russian Helicopters holding company banned the extension of the service life of old Mi-8 and Mi-26 helicopters, due to which they can be written off within the next two to three years more than 1 thousand aircraft.
“Now the idea of Russian Helicopters is to change their tail end beams when a certain flight time of the Mi-8 family is reached. That is, what do Russian Helicopters think? If we put up such a protective barrier, then we will all stop flying on old helicopters and run to buy new ones. In particular, Mi-26 helicopters, which they sell to us for $40 million or even more,” Martirosov said (quote from Interfax).
The head of UTair expressed confidence that due to the bans, the cost of the new Mi-26 will eventually increase by 2-2.5 times, and helicopter companies will be forced to increase the cost of their services. “The raid will be reduced immediately by 2.5–3 times. Mi-26 helicopters flew around Russia for about 5 thousand hours a year – everything will immediately drop to 1.5-2 thousand hours a year, ”he believes.
Sanctions against the Russian Federation
After the start of Russia‘s military operation in Ukraine, the United States and a number of other countries imposed sanctions against Russia, which, among other things, restricted Russian imports of weapons, computer chips, aircraft parts and other goods. On April 3, the US Department of Commerce extended export restrictions for Russian airlines Utair and AzurAir for another six months.
Nevertheless, the New York Times, citing customs documents, reports that last year, when restrictive measures were already in place, millions of dollars worth of spare parts for aircraft manufactured by Boeing, Airbus and other companies were imported into Russia. Aeroflot, Rossiya, Pobeda, Ural Airlines, S7 and UTair became the final buyers, the newspaper claims. Goods were shipped through intermediaries, including in the Middle East and Asia, according to the NYT.