MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The Perm-based Avialeasing investment company has lodged a bankruptcy petition against Russia’s leading regional carrier, UTair, which has failed to pay 3.5 million rubles ($67,000) for leasing Tu-154-M planes, the press service of the arbitration court said on Monday.
The airline’s current debt exceeds 3.5 million rubles, the court in Russia’s Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region said citing Avialeasing. “That’s why Avialeasing has asked the court to declare UTair bankrupt.”
The court is expected to announce the decision within five days, the press service said. The bankruptcy petition against UTair was filed on December 4 and registered on Monday. A spokesman for the company told TASS the lawsuit will “not affect UTair’s operations.”
Earlier in December, the UGRA SPb leasing company asked the court to recover the airline’s debt worth 687 million rubles ($13 million). The airports of Koltsovo and Perm also demand that the airline pay off its 9.5-million ruble ($180,900) debt.
The Avialeasing company already filed a bankruptcy petition against UTair in 2012, demanding that the airline pay arrears for the long-term lease of Tu-154 planes.
Moscow’s Arbitration Court earlier this month ruled to freeze the assets of the airline estimated at $11.8 million upon a debt claim filed by Alfa Bank.
UTair is currently implementing the Impulse program for improving its efficiency and optimizing the route network and fleet. This is expected to reduce the airline’s costs by up to 10 billion rubles ($180 million) by late 2015.