Bankruptcy 'only option' for Russia's Transaero airline: minister
Bankruptcy is the only solution for Russia's second largest airline Transaero after state-controlled Aeroflot backed out of purchasing the debt-laden carrier, economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Friday.
"The search for other options has not led to positive results. We are proceeding on the basis that this is the only possible option," Ulyukayev said, quoted by Russian news agencies.
Aeroflot's board of directors in early September approved the acquisition of a controlling 75 percent plus one share stake in Transaero for the symbolic sum of 1 ruble in a government-backed deal.
But Aeroflot did not manage to agree with Transaero's creditors on restructuring its debts totalling an estimated 250 billion rubles ($3.78 billion) including leasing obligations and did not manage to acquire the 75 percent stake within the agreed deadline.
Aeroflot said in a statement late Thursday that it was not going to extend its offer to buy Transaero.
Transport minister Maxim Sokolov said Transaero "can no longer fulfil its financial obligations in their entirety" and the civil aviation authority ordered the airline to stop selling tickets.
Sokolov assured the 650,000 people who hold Transaero tickets that they would get seats on other airlines.
"The company has absolutely no prospects. It has huge debts and its operations have been loss-making for three years in a row," the head of Sberbank, Russia's biggest lender and former economy minister, German Gref said on Friday.
© 2015 AFP