Rus News Journal

AiRUnion takes under wing Malev

If the Russian officials cease to repair obstacles

to the Government of Hungary it will not be possible to sell the largest airline Malev this year, the Hungarian experts consider. Nevertheless sooner or later it will occur. The most probable term - spring of 2007, and the buyer - company AirBridge Rt., which co-owner is the head of created holding AiRUnion Boris Abramovich.

alliance AiRUnion has begun work in 2005. Following the results of 2005 on volume of the transported passengers it has taken the third place in Russia. The alliance structure includes airlines KrasAir, Domodedovsky airlines Omskavia Samara and Sibaviatrans . All of them are legally independent, within the limits of an alliance while the joint routeing network is co-ordinated only. For today airlines entering into an alliance carry out flights in 80 directions of Russia, the CIS countries, and also to Vienna, Beijing, Bangkok and Frankfurt.

we will remind, in September, 2006 the Hungarian agency on privatisation and management of the state property declared competition on sale of 99,95 % of actions of national air carrier Malev. Besides AiRUnion in competition will participate Sky Alliance (united the former employees of company Malev), irlandsko - the Hungarian concern Ofer Hava, and also entered at the last minute in the list of participants of the tender the Lithuanian airline LAL Investiciju Valdymas. Till the end of November it is necessary for all four potential buyers to finish the competitive offers taking into account the wishes sounded one of these days and specifications of the Hungarian estimated commission.

in 2005 the Hungarian government already tried to sell unprofitable airline (debts Malev make almost 30 mlrd forints) at the international auction. And already then the most favourable offer (200 million dollars) Has arrived from AirBridge Rt. But the auctions have broken: on one of versions, from - for the protest of the Hungarian trade unions, on another - from - for coming in Hungary of elections before which state structures have not dared to sell a national air carrier.

however elections have already passed, and today the question of sale Malev again became actual. The Financial Times notices that AiRUnion - most perspective of all potential buyers Malev. While the Hungarian airline keeps a reputation, a young aircraft depot and the developed European routeing network, Russians can fill these flights with passengers from Russia and Asia. Flights Malev (550 in a week) connect more than 50 cities of Europe, company planes also fly to New York and Toronto. Association with the Hungarian air carrier not only will essentially strengthen positions AiRUnion, but also will raise prestige of the Russian aviation industry as a whole.

According to these calculations the demand for company privatisation has been generated and submitted. I believe that we will manage to make from Malev strong airline, having united a network of its routes with flights of participants of aviation association AiRUnion. The increase in a volume of passenger traffic and profitableness Malev under wing AiRUnion is possible already through 2 - 3 years - general director KrasAir (the largest airline of an alliance) Boris Abramovich underlines.

nevertheless association of two companies is disturbed by the uncertainty created by Rosimushchestvom. The structure of property AiRUnion is not defined till now. It would be more logical to state to have essential, but not a controlling interest of dynamically developing company that will allow an air carrier to involve more than private investments, raising market cost of the actives. In the light of forthcoming auction on sale Malev it is important not only safety of flights. Today the help of the state is very necessary for the domestic companies at their participation in the international tenders on acquisition ekonomikoobrazujushchih actives. Only with the state support the transactions similar to merge " are possible; Rusala SUALa and Glencore. And on the contrary: interfering with the international infrastructural projects, Russia risks to repeat the pitiable scenario Severstal and Arcelor.

Merge AiRUnion with Malev not only will deduce Russia on new level in the international division of labour and as a whole will well be reflected in economy development. First of all it will serve as a powerful impulse for domestic aircraft engineering as new routeing networks will inevitably demand additional park of planes.

Alexey Shubin