Apr 24, 2022
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The West “grounded” the Russian “oligarchs”

The West "grounded" the Russian "oligarchs"

Photo: Marina Lystseva/TASS

The collective West, imposing more and more new sanctions against Russia, reminded us that a self-respecting country must be completely self-sufficient, in everything from toothpicks to high technology. That is, import substitution, the success of which responsible officials have been telling us since 2014, is not only about agricultural products and clothes, but about everything else. Including – about civil aviation aircraft.

The Russian “oligarchs”, who are accustomed to comfortably cut through the airspace on their own foreign-made business jets, also fell under the distribution. Many domestic officials in leadership positions were also sad: some departments had their own liners. Others used business aviation services.

At the same time, not only flights to many foreign countries have become impossible, because Russian airlines are denied service, but you don’t fly much in Russia either: spare parts are not supplied, lessors demand the return of the aircraft (however, it’s not clear how to fulfill this requirement, Europe closed the sky the sky, and the teleport has not yet been created).

Alternatively, you can transfer to domestic aircraft. In particular, there was information that the lessor of Rostec is ready to sell several used Tu-204/214 to the owners of business jets.

The cost of selling Tu with restoration is estimated at 1.5 billion rubles. for commercial airlines, and 3 billion rubles. – in the VIP layout.

All aircraft are dismantled, that is, they still need to be brought to mind before they can be flown. These iron birds belong to the Ilyushin Finance leasing company (IFK, part of Rostec). The age of the aircraft is from 12 to 16 years.

According to the director of IFC Sergei Turkin Potential buyers, who do not count on the imminent lifting of sanctions, are showing interest in aircraft for use in business aviation.

In principle, there is nothing extraordinary in the sale of “used” aircraft. Not many air carriers can afford brand new cars, including domestic ones.

But I don’t really believe that companies specializing in business transportation or businessmen themselves will easily lay out money for the goods offered. And not because they are accustomed to the foreign.

– Tu 204/214 is a medium-haul aircraft, but it is large, designed for 180-200 passengers. And business aviation is small planes, explains former long-range aviation navigator Alexei Petrenko.

– Of course, if someone is ready to pay a tidy sum for a liner designed for passenger transportation, this is not forbidden. But even at a time when the business had a lot of money, they were very much considered. In the 90s, large companies, such as, for example, banks, acquired medium-haul Tu-134s, they are designed for about 70 seats. Back then it was cool to have your own big planes. But then they began to switch to smaller cars: Swiss, French, American. I flew them too.

Business aviation can be compared to comfortable taxis, and Tu 204/214 is already like a double-decker intercity bus. It costs more, and fuel and maintenance cost a pretty penny. And it’s more difficult to manage it: it’s one thing to lift an airplane that weighs 20 tons into the air, and another when it pulls 150 tons or more.

And here it is time for those responsible for import substitution to begin to sprinkle ashes on their heads: the Russian aviation industry cannot offer anything light and compact.

— Neither in the USSR nor in Russia did they develop models for business aviation. The most suitable option would be the Soviet Yak-40, it was produced in Saratov, recalls former Colonel of the USSR Air Force Viktor Alksnis.

– But since 1981, production has been discontinued, although it proved to be excellent, flew in different conditions, was suitable for a variety of purposes, even a meteorological laboratory was. In the 90s, our businessmen bought them at repair shops, modernized the cabins and used them as business jets.

Since the 2000s, it began to be decommissioned. And now it would be useful. Yes, and the Saratov plant was destroyed. And even if they wanted to resume the production of the Yak-40, it would be impossible, there are no drawings, no machines. As for the development of new models specifically for business aviation, I’m not sure that we really need it now. Unless businessmen themselves chip in and invest in the development and production of their own aircraft. That would be welcome. But the state needs to think about how to replace large liners for passenger transportation. By the way, Tu 204−214 would be quite suitable for this. We only have Abramovcha and someone else had huge Boeings, the rest managed by planes for 10-15 seats.

This point of view is shared by Max Flight CEO Maxim Tsarev. He is sure that in a situation where the air fleet does not have enough aircraft to carry passengers and cargo, turning the Tu-204/214 into a business jet is an unreasonable waste. In his opinion, the Tu-214 could close the niche occupied before the Airbus 321 sanctions and Boeing-737, “carrying 200 people per flight, and not a couple of VIP service consumers.”

“Russian officials and businessmen will have no choice but to transfer to domestic aircraft,” he said. political scientist Sergei Markov.

– But for this it is necessary to restore the domestic aviation industry. The problem is that the aviation industry all over the world is funded by the state. This industry begins to make a profit about ten years after the funds were invested in it. And even later. This is too long for private entrepreneurs. Therefore, business does not like to invest in the aircraft industry.

“SP”: – Is it possible to somehow encourage domestic “oligarchs” to fork out?

– Yes. For this it is necessary that Insert or Mishustin called representatives of business and clearly said: “Invest in the development of aircraft factories.” No other way.

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