Russia’s UTair Aviation reported a 2017 first-half net loss of RUB3.7 billion ($62.6 million), widened from RUB684.9 million  in the year-ago period.

First-half revenue fell 5% to RUB32 billion and operating loss was RUB8 million, reversed from a RUB1.7 billion profit in 1H 2016. The carrier reported negative equity of RUB6 billion, which remained flat compared to the year-ago half.

The company did not comment on reasons for the losses.

In 2014-15, UTair experienced economic turbulence and a downturn in traffic.

On Dec. 30, 2015, the carrier announced it had completed the refinancing of its debt portfolio. Earlier in December, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a resolution guaranteeing RUB9.5 billion to help secure loans. At the beginning of 2016, some of Russia’s regional governments became UTair shareholders.

From January-July 2017, the airline carried 4 million passengers, up 13.2% year-over-year (YOY). According to the airline’s 1H 2017 financial report, forward ticket sales grew from RUB1.6 billion to RUB5.8 billion YOY, suggesting that either the company has improved its sales strategy or increased the number of cheap tickets sold forward. At the same time, its cash on account decreased from RUB4.3 billion to RUB2 billion YOY. 

Polina Montag-Girmes