Modern planes for air carriers
Belavia’s General Director, Anatoly Gusarov, tells us that introducing customs fees on aviation imported into the Customs Union is a problematic issue within the framework of the Single Economic Space. “Russian aircraft manufacturers’ interests were lobbied but — owing to a single position shared with Kazakhstan — we’ve managed to settle the problem: until July 1st, 2014, the air companies of Belarus and Kazakhstan will be able to import planes without customs fees,” he notes.
With this in mind, Belarusian and Kazakh air companies are trying to drastically renew their air fleet. In particular, Kazakhstan has signed a large contract to buy new Boeings. “We are also trying to do this by July 1st, 2014,” says Mr. Gusarov. “However, jointly with Kazakhstan, we continue to actively insist on the prolongation of this period until 2019; otherwise, we’ll fail to fully modernise our fleet with a sufficient number of competitive comfortable and economical planes.”
At present, Belavia owns six Boeing 737-500s, four Boeing 737-300s, one CRJ-100LR, three CRJ-200LRs and three Tu-154Мs. The company is preparing for operating under the new conditions of the Single Economic Space. “Of course, we’ll lose in some aspects — due to enhanced competition. However, we’ll simultaneously gain access to the Russian market and inter-Russian transportation within the Single Economic Space. We’ll be competitive and shall actively use our SES advantages,” notes Mr. Gusarov.