MIAMI — Transaero has postponed the delivery of its Very Large Jet (VLJ) orders placed for four Airbus A380 and four Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliners as a combination of economic sanctions and decrease in oil prices that have caused the plunge in the Russian rouble against both the euro and the dollar, thus affecting air travel bookings.
A report from Bloomberg cites that Airbus opted to postpone the delivery of its A380s “in order to help the No. 2 Russian carrier cope with slowing travel demand in its home market,” Negotiations for the purchase of the A380 began in October 2011, when Russia’s second largest airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the four aircraft, subsequently converted in a firm order in June 2012.
In an interview to Transaero DCEO Dmitry Stolyarov, the officer admitted “in view of the present economic conditions, we are conducting talks with the partners on setting a new delivery schedule [for the Airbus A380] and on possibly altering the financing scheme. The latter is due to the current situation in the banking sector.”
During the interview, Stolyarov also confirmed a deferral in the delivery of its Boeing 747-8I order, originally placed in 2012 together with four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. Back in September 2014, the airline opted to cancel the Dreamliner order but kept the Intercontinentals in the logbook. “We are expecting to receive a new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental next year. It is too early to talk about the exact delivery date.” the officer said.
Russian airlines are adjusting their capacity after a slump in the oil export prices and economic sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, which reduced the value of the rouble almost 50 percent last year, making air travel too costly for many. Aeroflot, Russia’s flag carrier, opted to cancel its 787 order last June while UTAir, the third largest Russian carrier, has opted to return to lessors part of its Boeing narrow-body fleet and cancel its Boeing 737NG orders.