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Siberian air boss seeks to be saviour for stricken Transaero Airline

By The Siberian Times reporter
21 October 2015

Last minute rescue bid to prevent Russia's second largest airline going bankrupt.

Filev, who has built Novosibirsk-based S7 into a widely-admired domestic and international airline, intends to do everything possible to prevent Transaero going out of business. Picture: RBC

Vladislav Filev, director-general of Siberia Airlines, better known as S7, has signed an agreement to buy at least 51 percent of larger rival Transaero. The debt-laden airline had appeared to be heading for bankruptcy earlier this week after state carrier Aeroflot rejected giving a lifeline. 

Filev, who has built Novosibirsk-based S7 into a widely-admired domestic and international airline, intends to do everything possible to prevent Transaero going out of business. Many flights of the distressed carrier have been cancelled in recent days, causing chaos in some cities, as it appeared set for bankruptcy. 

Filev is buying a controlling stake in Transaero by snapping up shares owned by air tycoon Alexander Pleshakov. Vladislav Filev told RBC that he has 'a plan to normalise Transaero relations with creditors'. 

He refused to disclose the details, saying only that the new shareholders 'by all means will try to avoid the bankruptcy of the airline'. He faces a fight against time with creditors Sberbank and Alfabank filing claims for Transaero bankruptcy. Largets creditor state-owned VTB bank is also planning a lawsuit against Transaero, said its head, Andrei Kostin.

The airline, acutely hit by the falling value of the rouble, has debts put at 250 billion roubles, some $4 billion. A source told TASS: 'The most probable scenario is that the company continues its operation. 

'A plan would be arranged for its financial rehabilitation and debt restructuring that would be agreed with the creditors. Most likely, a foreign bank would be hired as a consultant to help elaborate a restructuring plan.'

Pleshakov said: 'I looked at such deal because I wanted to prevent the monopolization of the market, so that passengers and employees could have a possibility of choice between air companies. Apart from that, our goal was to spare our long-term partners and creditors from losses they would inevitably sustain should our air company go bankrupt.'

It was unclear what Filev had paid for 'at least 51 percent of shares'. The parties however said it was 'much bigger than one rouble' (0.016 U.S. dollars) and would be acceptable for them all.

Comments (2)

He will have to sell part of the planes to buy an A-380 for travel from Moscow to Vladivostok and from Vladivostok to Asian and American cities.
Enrique, Spain
29/10/2015 19:02
nice, but would he let Transaero fly under their own name or under J7. which is basically unknown..
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
23/10/2015 18:18

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