The development of the aviation industry in Tatarstan will continue —

A leading expert from Finam Management MC on the creation of an aviation cluster in the republic and the state of affairs in the Russian aviation market

With the start of the special operation and the imposition of Western sanctions, the Russian aircraft industry and carriers are going through difficult times. After the EU banned the lease and supply of aircraft and engines to our country, Russia allowed Turkey to organize two-thirds of flights between the countries due to a shortage of aircraft. At the same time, large-scale production of Tu-124 aircraft is starting at the Kazan Aircraft Plant, it is planned to deliver 70 aircraft by 2030. Tatarstan’s aircraft industry has great prospects in this area , thinks Dmitry Baranov, a leading expert at Finam Gestion MC. In a column for Realnoe Vremya, he explains how the Russian aviation sector is coping with the crisis.

How to stay in the global aviation industry

The restrictions imposed on the aviation industry and transport have not led to a suspension of their operation: various types of aircraft are still manufactured in the country, flights are operated, passengers and cargo are transported. However, a logical question arises: what will happen to the sector, will it develop? If so, how? We will try to find out.

To begin, consider the aviation industry: a few years ago, it was united into a single holding company — the United Aviation Corporation — which made it possible to concentrate resources and efforts. Key projects have been singled out that will enable the country to remain one of the leading members of the global aviation industry. Mid-range MS-21, short-range Sukhoi Superjet New regional aircraft RVRS-44, which was named Ladoga, Baikal light multipurpose aircraft (LMS-901) for local flights, which is to replace the obsolete An-2, can be considered for such projects. These planes will meet the needs of all types of air travel in the country, which will probably make it possible to refuse foreign aviation equipment or reduce the amounts of its purchases.

It is necessary to note that these aircraft are mainly created using Russian components, which reduces dependence on foreign components. They can be used, for example, if a customer wishes.

Russian carriers will be equipped with aircraft

The Russian aviation industry does not just implement these projects, the latest events and the imposed bans forced it not only to look for other ways to provide carriers with the necessary equipment. Several such projects have been announced recently. So, the head of the UAC, Yury Slyusar, said that the company intends to increase the production of Il-96 and Il-76, it is also planned to expand the production of Tu- 214.

Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said at the end of March that work on the passenger seat of the Il-69-400 in a longer version with modernized aircraft electronics will end in Voronezh in 2022. Certification of Russian components that will replace foreign components will be completed in 2023. Serial production of this model at Voronezh Aircraft Engineering Society PJSC will begin in 2024.

This is only part of the examples, so Russian carriers will not be left without planes, they will have the equipment to transport passengers and cargo.

UAC chief Yury Slyusar said that the company intends to increase production of Il-96 and Il-76, there are also plans to expand production of Tu-214. Photo: Maxim Platonov

It should be emphasized that the implementation of various aircraft projects in the country continues and is carried out quite actively: for example, several MS-21 aircraft have already been built, they are undergoing numerous tests, which are approaching their production serial. Russian spare parts and units that will replace foreign parts in Russian aircraft equipment are tested and certified. For example, range tests of the PD-8 jet engine that will replace foreign engines in SSJ-100 and Be-200 aircraft recently ended.

The modernization of enterprises in the aviation industry, which has accelerated in recent times, continues, state support for aircraft manufacturers is maintained and expanded — these are various subsidies and preferences, guarantees of the state, other support measures. All this gives hope that the enterprises of the aviation industry will be able to complete the tasks assigned to them, start mass production of new aircraft models, speed up the production of already produced models.

Support measures for the aviation sector

As for air travel, it has undoubtedly suffered from the bans imposed on flights to certain countries and the restricted use of planes rented in other countries. All this led to a decline in the operational indicators of airlines, a worsening of the financial situation.

The state regulatory measures partly helped the airlines, which made it possible to continue using planes leased in other countries.

A decline in citizens’ incomes due to the difficult economic situation has become a kind of “aid” for aircraft, if one can use that term. The bans imposed also played a role.

Many flights have been canceled or their costs reduced, as a result fewer passengers need to be transported. This made it easier for the airlines, but it also meant a drop in their revenue. Flights to new destinations in other countries can help carriers but it takes time to launch them, so the situation with people’s incomes remains difficult. There is no guarantee that there will be a solvent demand from people wishing to fly on new routes.

A higher frequency of flights within the country for the transport of passengers and cargo can become another option to support airlines. Photo: Maxim Platonov

A higher frequency of flights within the country for the transport of passengers and cargo can become another option to support airlines. It is known that many flights from one city to another often pass through Moscow or St. Petersburg, which is not always feasible. Now may be the time to launch direct flights between cities, although there will be few at first. Moreover, it is not excluded that circular routes will be introduced when take-off and landing will take place at an airport.

For example, a region or natural landmarks or something else can be observed from above. Perhaps it is logical for carriers to join efforts with tourism enterprises, which is logical to develop domestic tourism, flights combined with excursions to other regions of several days are not excluded, that is- that is to say that there are many ways to use airplanes.

When it comes to cargo transport, of course, no one suggests transporting logs in the cabin of a passenger plane or coal in bags, for example, various well-packaged consumer goods can be transported on planes , in addition, the passenger seats can be temporarily removed. Certainly air transport has a safety margin, but it is not infinite, measures must be taken to continue its use so that the country with such distances does not remain without aviation. It is not excluded that he may need state support, and this support must be provided, moreover, this does not necessarily translate into a direct allocation of money from the budget, it may be different support measures. If the sector is not supported, the country risks losing one of its means of transport, the socio-economic situation will worsen because hundreds of thousands, even millions of people will lose their jobs, and no one will will need these planes the aviation industry produces.

Development of the aviation industry and creation of an aviation cluster in Tatarstan

The significance of Tatarstan both in Russian aeronautical engineering and in air travel is great and we want to hope that it will be so. Enterprises of the aviation industry of the republic are an important part of UAC and actively participate in the projects of the company. The federal authorities are interested in their work, which testifies to the importance of local aircraft manufacturers – several senior officials have visited the republic in recent months.

In early February, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov visited the Kazan Gorbunov Aircraft Plant, a subsidiary of Tupolev PJSC. Russian Deputy Minister Yury Borisov was in the republic at the end of March and visited this company together with the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov where the increase in Tu-214 production was considered among other issues. According to Borisov, the company can manufacture as few as 10 such aircraft per year in the future.

In early February, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov visited the Kazan Gorbunov Aircraft Plant, a subsidiary of Tupolev PJSC. Photo:

The republic pays a lot of attention not only to the current operation of local aircraft producers, but also to their prospects. Thus, at the end of April, during a meeting with Denis Manturov, Rustam Minnikhanov presented an aeronautical cluster project within the framework of import substitution plans. According to the Republican President, it is planned to create a UAC machining center with a capacity of one million per year, the head of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade has claimed his support for this project.

The development of enterprises of the aviation industry in the republic will continue, they will always make their contribution to the economy of the region, provide jobs for thousands of people, orders for local enterprises. Flights to several destinations are operated from cities in the region, and the number of destinations may increase as well as the frequency of flights.

The republic has considerable tourist potential, it attracts both Russians and citizens of other countries, it has repeatedly hosted large events so that incoming traffic can increase. We should not forget about the high attractiveness of investments from Tatarstan, which can also contribute to increasing the number of people coming to the republic, including by plane. As for the increase in the number of people leaving the region, this can be, first of all, trips to other countries with which the republic has close relations, other countries are also not excluded.

Dmitry Baranov


The author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the position of the editorial board of Realnoe Vremya.


Rose D. Jones