Prospects of Yakutia Airlines resuming international services have improved after the carrier secured financial backing and is revamping its fleet.
State-owned carrier is to receive at least Rb1 billion ($15.3 million) in subsidies granted by the government of the Sakha Republic, its sole shareholder.
“This amount will be disbursed during 2019,” says the regional head Aisen Nikolayev, speaking during a recent investment forum in Sochi. He notes that the move is aligned with the restructuring of Yakutia’s debts to bank creditors. “Subsidies will be sustained on an ad-hoc basis afterwards. We’re also counting on some federal relief [for Yakutia] and are already negotiating it.”
Last November, regulatory agency Rosaviatsia banned the carrier from providing international services over operational concerns. This followed a string of flight delays and operational concerns.
Referring to the airline’s new director Valdimir Gorbunov, Nikolayev says the management has resolved the bulk of those issues, which clears the way for it restoring cross-border services. He states that the airline is now “definitely on the mend”
Provided the remaining inadequacies are eiminated, local prime minister Vladimir Solodov expects Yakutia to receive the go-ahead for resuming international flights before the summer season.
One of the carrier's Sukhoi Superjet 100s was badly damaged in a landing accident last October. One of its Superjet 100s is already back in service and two others are due to join it within a couple of weeks.
Solodov says it has also taken delivery of a Boeing 737-700 and might bring in several more. The -700 variants will be used during the period of the upcoming Yakutsk airfield modernisation work when the runway will operate with restrictions.
“I can firmly say that in the coming years Yakutia Airlines will operate steadily, without flights delays and in full force on international routes,” concludes Solodov.
Source: Cirium Dashboard