The Syktyvkar, Komi Republic-based regional carrier Komiaviatrans, one of Russia’s leading helicopter operators, is planning to acquire foreign-built helicopters. “We are thinking of buying foreign types, but the current crisis and our focus on fixed-wing aircraft have been stalling the process,” general manager Alexander Ponomarev told Show Observer on the eve of HeliRussia 2015. “Nevertheless, we will continue talks on potential orders with manufacturers at this year’s exhibition.”
Komiaviatrans is wholly owned by the Komi Republic government. According to the Federal Air Transport Agency, the carrier had 25 Mil Mi-8 helicopters in various modifications and several Mi-2s as of March 2015. The company’s Mi-8 fleet logged 14,200 flying hours in 2014.
“The volume of our helicopter operations decreased last year,” says Ponomarev. “We know who of our customers was ordering less helicopter services. We are aware of the overall trends in the industry sectors which use helicopter services. We appreciate their problems, and last year we were prepared for any developments, for the exception of the absence of forest fires in the republic. Ironically, the absence of fires and the cool summer caused us some losses. But I do not think we should be lamenting the fact; you cannot argue with nature.”