UTair: passenger reviews. UTair airline. civil Aviation
UTair is among the largest Russian air carriers. This corporation has a long history, a large fleet, experienced professionals in the state and is considered one of the most successful players in the passenger transportation and freight services market. UTair, like many other large businesses, is now experiencing significant financial difficulties, but the firm’s management is not sitting idly by but trying to cope with the crisis with all its might. A certain hope rests in this part and on the state. The airline is among the leaders in terms of passenger traffic. This leads to the appearance of a huge number of reviews of Russians who used UTair services on thematic online portals. How are things at the airline in the economic part? How do passengers rate the quality of UTair services?
General information about the airline
UTair Aviation is one of the largest aviation holdings in Russia. Its structure includes such enterprises as UTair-Ukraine, UTair-Cargo, UTair-Helicopter Services and other businesses. The corporation provides services in the segment of passenger transportation, cargo delivery, maintenance, personnel training. It can be noted that the company owns the world's largest helicopter fleet.
In terms of passenger traffic, UTair Aviation took the 3rd place in Russia in 2014 after market leader Aeroflot and Transaero. In 2014, UTair carried more than 8.5 million passengers. The main airport where UTair is based is Vnukovo. Other major transport hubs of the airline are located in Tyumen, Surgut - there is located, in particular, the headquarters of the corporation, Noyabrsk, as well as in Khanty-Mansiysk.
Airline helicopter services
Separately, it should be said about the helicopter services provided by the corporation. So, in the person of one of the subsidiary structures, UTair is, as we noted, the world's largest helicopter fleet operator. She owns more than 350 cars produced by the most famous brands - “Mil”, Airbus Helicopters.
UTair’s helicopter unit operates on 4 continents.Corresponding services are provided for corporate customers - large oil and gas corporations. The airline has been cooperating with many of them for more than 40 years. Since 2001, UTair, as evidenced by a number of sources, has been the largest UN supplier in terms of providing air transport services. The activities of the Russian airline in the context of interaction with the United Nations are largely connected with participation in the most important humanitarian events.
UTair has all the necessary infrastructure for organizing operations involving helicopters in virtually any climatic conditions. The company employs specialists who are also trained to work in any region of the world.
The considered activity direction is carried out by separate structures of UTair, formed for the markets of Europe, Africa and India. The Russian helicopter segment, in which the airline operates, is associated with the fulfillment of orders from fuel and energy corporations, forest enterprises, state-owned companies and private businesses. Uteir clients are firms representing almost all segments of the economy.UTair provides helicopter services in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, on the territory of Khanty-Mansiysk, as well as in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, in the Far East, in the Murmansk, Irkutsk and Tyumen regions. A significant region for UTair is Moscow and the region.
The history of the company "UTair" begins in 1934. Then on the Ob airline was formed Tyumen Air Group. Pilots V. Bozhan and technician A. Fokin opened air flights along the Ob line between large populated areas of Siberia. In 1967, the USSR Ministry of Civil Aviation formed the Tyumen Department on the basis of the same-name air group. In 1991, this structure was transformed into Tyumenaviatrans. In 1999, Andrei Martirosov became CEO of the corporation, who continues to manage the company. In 2002, the airline acquired its current name. In 2003, she carried the millionth passenger. In 2013, the airline overcame the figure of 10 million passengers.
UTair suffered a lot from the 2014 financial crisis. Now the corporation has adopted a program, according to which it is planned to reduce to 40% of the fleet for subsequent optimization of activities, reduction of losses, as well as the return of aircraft that are arrested by the court.
Now the company owns more than 60 aircraft. UTair airplanes are represented by such brands as Boeing, ATR, as well as equipment supplied by the Russian Antonov brand. The helicopter fleet of the company includes more than 350 pieces of equipment. In its structure there are Mi-26 helicopters, the most heavy-lifting on the planet; they are capable of carrying loads weighing 20 tons.
The company "UTair" works in the European part of the Russian Federation, in Siberia, as well as in the Far East. In total, the corporation serves about 100 directions. There are flights to Europe. The airline provides services in the VIP format, organizes charter flights. Among the most unique services UTair - helicopter services. Among those - rotational transport, the organization of high-rise video filming.
Russian airline is active abroad. Among the most noteworthy areas of relevant activities is the execution of UN contracts. The company is present in Afghanistan, Liberia, Sudan and other African countries. When solving the corresponding tasks, Mi helicopters, CRJ-200, and Boeing-737 aircraft are used.UTair is a laureate of the Order of Courage, as well as the winner of the Igor Sikorsky Prize. These regalia were awarded to the Russian airline for humanitarian activities.
Economic situation in the airline
Above, we noted that the Russian airline is experiencing significant difficulties due to the crisis. Let us examine how things are in Utair in more detail.
The debt of PJSC (formerly OJSC) UTair Aviation is now about 70 billion rubles. This value, as the director of the company notes in an interview with the media, is not too large, but payments for it are complicated due to a shortage of credit funds. There is information that the cost of loans in 2015 for the airline increased by 50%. Another negative factor is the decline in the purchasing power of airline customers. The main volume of UTair's revenue is in rubles. The decline in airline revenues is due to drawdowns in the tourist market, reducing the popularity of international flights.
Due to the crisis, a significant proportion of the UTair fleet is to be reduced, as we noted above. There will also be layoffs among staff. Flights will be reduced, aircraft fleet renewal programs will be adjusted. However, the airline aims to actively resist the crisis.Brand management does not consider options for selling assets to larger market players - such as, for example, Aeroflot - there were reports in the media that such a deal was possible.
Initiation of bankruptcy
According to media reports, Avialeasing filed an application to the Arbitration Court of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug with a plea to declare PJSC (before the changes of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation - OJSC) UTair Aviation Company to be bankrupt. The value of the claims is about 3.5 million rubles. So far, the essence of the plaintiff’s claim to the airline has not been disclosed. It is known that since 2011, UTair has not paid rental transactions under contracts for the supply of equipment that have been concluded with Avializing.
Apart from this lawsuit, in relation to UTair, as evidenced by materials from a number of media outlets, several dozen other lawsuits were initiated totaling more than 700 million rubles. Among the plaintiffs who have claims to the airline - Alfa-Bank. So, this financial institution intends to collect about 11 million rubles from UTair.
The management of the airline notes that the fact of recognizing the corporation bankrupt will not affect its operations. However, experts believe that one of the largest Russian brands is not threatened to leave the market.Perhaps, analysts say, the enterprise will be reorganized. There is a version that UTair Aviation (reviews by many analysts and market experts confirm this) will try to get state support and also restructure current debts. But a lot will depend on the capabilities of banks that will participate in such communications. The authorities of the Russian Federation may be interested in helping a large player in the air transportation market as a matter of priority, since withdrawal from the UTair market may negatively affect the industry as a whole.
Prospects for the modernization of the fleet
In connection with the crisis, the airline is likely to postpone the solution of tasks related to the modernization of the fleet. Although by the current moment a great amount of work has been done in this direction. So, in 2014, the company received several new Airbus and Boeing aircraft. For 2016-2018, the acquisition of several more dozens of aircraft is planned. The purchase of about 40 Boeings is in the plans of the corporation for the next 4-5 years. This gives the company management a reason to say that in the foreseeable future, UTair’s aircraft will probably form the youngest civilian aircraft fleet in the Russian Federation.
Thus, despite the difficulties, the airline has good chances to overcome the crisis. The management of UTair believes that bankruptcy is an unlikely scenario for the development of the company, as well as other major players in the airline industry in Russia. No one is interested in such procedures, experts say. The main tasks that UTair management sets itself are to carry out a competent restructuring, the necessary cost reduction. If possible, find reliable lenders, shareholders, partners. Top managers of the company are ready to apply the best experience in overcoming previous economic crises.
So, the UTair brand is going through difficult times - this is due to the crisis situation in the Russian economy. At the same time, the airline continues to operate, maintain flights, implement various customer loyalty programs. The management of the company hopes for help from the state. UTair is an airline that can be classified as a backbone for the Russian air transport market. Therefore, the probability of providing the necessary support from the authorities is there, and it is very high.
We now examine, having considered the current state of affairs in UTair, the feedback from passengers reflecting the experience of using various services provided by the brand. Opinions of citizens present on various sectoral online portals can be classified into those that reflect:
- evaluation of the tariff policy of the airline;
- the level of service in the aircraft;
- quality of consulting and staff qualification at the pre-flight stages of interaction with clients;
- level of comfort in flight.
Consider the essence of the relevant reviews in more detail.
Estimates of the company's tariff policy
So, the first aspect of UTair reviews is the tickets, their cost. The airline offers a fairly wide range of tariff offers to its customers. Often, certain preferences in terms of pricing tickets are set in relation to specific directions of transportation. For example, among the current lucrative offers from UTair - tickets from Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Cheboksary, and also Penza to Moscow can be bought at a reduced price of 1990 rubles. In addition, if a passenger is a member of the “Status” program, then he will receive double miles for flights in these areas.
The priorities of the company are the further development of the route network, the formation of attractive fares for passengers from different regions. Russians who have had experience of interacting with UTair speak positively about various special offers of the airline, as well as about bonus programs. Passengers are also positive about the fact that you can buy tickets in a variety of ways. There is a standard mechanism - through the representative office of UTair. You can use various online channels - the airline's website or a mobile application for iOS and Android.
Using the appropriate tools, passengers can also go through the check-in procedure. This opportunity also finds a positive assessment in the user environment. Passengers' opinions regarding the airline's tariff policy are also positive with regard to the structure of the respective rates. The principles of ticket pricing, the Russians are sure that UTair has been proposed are quite understandable and logical.
Aircraft Service Level Estimates
Consider now what the Russian airline passengers say about the level of service during the flight.The structure of the corresponding services is quite simple. All that is provided to a passenger in an airplane is food in an amount that depends on the duration of the flight, literature, necessary assistance in using these or other instruments in the passenger seat, advice, instruction. In this sense, UTair services suggest very small differences from those provided by other airlines in Russia and foreign countries. Therefore, feedback from passengers in this sense is rather monotonous. In general - sufficiently positive.
According to the Russians, who used the services of UTair (reviews on thematic online portals confirm this), this brand provides a very competitive level of service. Much depends, of course, on the preferences of the passengers themselves, on their requirements and habits. The perception of any service is somehow subjective. Russians, who have something to compare with - and they speak about this in reviews, believe that UTair provides a completely competitive level of service compared to the leading players in the Russian and foreign air transportation markets.
The quality of the staff at the pre-flight stages
Before getting on the plane, the future passenger almost always interacts with the airline on matters relating to the preparation for the flight. This may be the actual check-in procedure - unless, of course, a person has taken advantage of the capabilities of a mobile application or site in terms of its passage. This may be the purchase of discount tickets from UTair. The passenger may have to check in the baggage as a separate cargo - and this should be assisted by a competent airline employee.
The corresponding pre-flight services, according to the Russians, who leave their reviews on thematic online portals, the brand provides at a quite high level. Employees of the airline show a high level of competence, goodwill, attentiveness, many passengers believe. It should be noted that in some cases, Russians mistakenly estimate the level of services that are provided, in fact, not by the airline, but by the airport staff. This is due to the fact that pre-flight communications involving the passenger, air carrier and services that are involved in preparing for the flight, are carried out almost simultaneously.Therefore, it should be borne in mind when studying the opinions of users about UTair - the reviews may concern not so much the work of the employees of the airline company, but rather specialists in the airport staff.
Flight comfort rating
This aspect of the reviews does not concern the service, but the infrastructure component of the airline’s activities. That is, people in this case do not appreciate how competent flight attendants are, but how comfortable they were to fly in a particular plane: whether they were sufficiently clean and soft chairs, whether the passenger seat controls were functional, how comfortable it was to navigate the cabin .
Of course, in this sense, much depends not so much on the airline, as on the liner manufacturer. However, having acquired a plane as a property, one airline can pay the greatest attention to maintaining its cleanliness, caring for the appearance of the car, ensuring the highest comfort of finding passengers in the cabin, and the other to neglect the solution of such problems. In the case of UTair, judging by the feedback from passengers, there are no problems with ensuring an adequate level of comfort during the flight.Neither in terms of purity, nor in terms of the functionality of devices that are in the possession of a person in a passenger seat. Customers are extremely appreciative of the level of comfort of flights with UTair. The flights may be the shortest - but despite this, the airline provides an excellent level of services, passengers say.
There is a point of view that many businesses in crisis situations significantly reduce the quality of services. But with respect to UTair, this thesis is not applicable. The Russians who use the services of UTair practically do not notice any deterioration in the quality of the work of the corporation's specialists in connection with the noted economic problems. Thus, the brand does not save at all on the level of service and flight infrastructure - and the opposite would probably be surprising given the leadership, in spite of everything, the status of a corporation. UTair, judging by the reviews, holds the mark of a reliable supplier of modern services in the field of air travel, even in the face of a very difficult financial situation.