Kazakhstan's SCAT talks losses due to coronavirus-related emergency state
BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 14
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
Financial loses of Kazakhstan’s SCAT airlines company exceeded 18 billion tenge ($42.7 million) as a result of operation suspension over the emergency state period imposed in Kazakhstan, a SCAT representative told Trend.
The official said that SCAT remained the only airline company which managed to maintain flights operations on some internal flights till the end of March, however in Apr. 2020 the company had to completely stop carrying out flights.
“Currently, in addition to restored scheduled flights across Kazakhstan, SCAT continues operation of charter flights. In modern reality, some of the flights are humanitarian aid transportation, some of which the airline transports at no cost, whereas the other type of flights is the repatriation flights for Kazakh citizens,” the company said.
Furthermore, cargo volume transportation has increased by over two times. Last year the airline transported about 210 tons of cargo over the reporting period (emergency state operation), whereas this year the same volume exceeded 450 tons.
“The transported goods are personal protective equipment, rapid tests, infrared thermometers, protective medical suits, safety glasses and more. The company carries out transportation of goods not only within Kazakhstan, but also to some neighboring countries,” the official said.
All company’s planes undergo daily maintenance, regardless of whether the plane is to be departed or it is to remain stationary.
“The company conducted an assessment of the costs of airworthiness maintaining of aircrafts for the period from March through April 2020. The expenses amounted to 2,7 billion tenge ($6.4 million). In the case that the emergency state is extended the amount will undoubtedly increase,” the official said.
Talking overall losses of the company the official said that the figure increases significantly if ones takes into account other expenses of the company over the reporting period.
“Tax and other mandatory payments, maintaining the planes’ airworthiness, refunding the cost of cancelled flights, expenses for repatriation flights, paying salaries to employees, rental costs, etc. make the airline’s direct losses amounting to more than 5.6 billion tenge ($13.2 million) for the period from March through April 2020. If we take into account not only direct losses, but also lost revenue for the same period, the amount will be over 18 billion tenge ($42.7 million),” the official said.
The official said that based on company’s forecasts the company will require 1.5 – 2 years of resumed operations to start receiving net income once again.
“The resumption of flights will allow the company to restore all previously existing directions, opening flights on new routes can only be talked about after the airline industry returns to its former conditions,” the official said.
In order to prevent coronavirus spreading in Kazakhstan, the number of flights was reduced by 438 flights per week on international destinations on 97 routes, which makes up 99 percent of all international flights implemented.
Additionally, all domestic flights have been cancelled and currently no regular air services operate in the country.
The first two cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Kazakhstan among those who arrived in Almaty city from Germany on March 13, 2020.
The total number of coronavirus cases confirmed in Kazakhstan since the virus was first confirmed in the country amounted to 5,571 cases. This includes 2,476 people who recovered from the coronavirus, and 32 patients who passed away.
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