- Let’s start with the big picture. How are the decline in the ruble and western-imposed economic sanctions impacting your business? Are sanctions impacting your business within Russia/CIS, or only externally?
Due to the fact that our major business activity is allocated in Russia, the foreign sanctions as well as the ruble rate drop did not have a catastrophic impact on us. We are doing most of our transactions in rubles and the majority of the aircraft we sell or lease are manufactured in Russia. Thanks to this we even gained an advantage for the Russian aircraft exports.
- Does Ilyushin finance have separate strategies for Russian and international operations? Historically, the majority of your business has been within Russia. Do you expect that to continue, or as Russian aircraft such as SSJ and MC-21 gain more acceptance internationally, will your strategies change?
Naturally we link the success of our future business development to the newest Russian aircraft like Sukhoi Superjet and Irkut’s MC-21. Both of them have good prospects in international markets as long as they get certification and the after sale support. With regard to this we see some evident progress with Superjet. Through two years of cooperation with Sukhoi on that project we have managed to receive a comprehensive after sale support package offer from the OEM. Besides we have good opportunities to provide the competitive financial services to the foreign customers. This is based on our solid experience of arranging the export credit solutions for the Russian aircraft sales. This has been achieved many times in partnership with Russia’s VEB export development bank. As for MC-21, there is still some work to be done on its certification and after sale system development, which we believe should be accomplished at the threshold of 2017-2018.
- How do you see the leasing market evolving over the next decade?
First of all we are keen to further develop the wet leases within a package of our products and services available for the foreign airlines. This should be an effective tool, being applied whenever we need to test run the aircraft we offer at present route networks of our customers. We are hopeful that in the nearest future our first Superjets will be wet leased to our Cambodian customer for a period of 5-6 months. Then it should be transformed into the long-term leases of three aircraft. Along with ACMI, we plan to develop our operating leasing portfolio (mainly in Russia) and provide the financial leases to our foreign customers.
- Can you give us an idea of plans for the orders you have please?