The head of UTair spoke about the problems of the helicopter industry due to the forced repair of the Mi-8 and Mi-26

UTair General Director Andrey Martirosov said that the decision to extend the service life of the Mi-8 and Mi-26 helicopters, provided that the tail booms are replaced with them, will lead to a 2.5-3 times reduction in the flying time of these vessels. Earlier, the Russian Helicopters holding banned the extension of the service life of old helicopters of this type. UTair has about 200 helicopters in its fleet, including 158 from the Mi-8 family and 7 from the Mi-26T family.

“Now the idea of ​​Russian Helicopters is to change their tail end beams when a certain flight time of the Mi-8 family is reached. That is, “Helicopters of Russia” as they think? If we put up such a protective barrier, then we will all stop flying on old helicopters and run to buy new ones. In particular, the Mi-26 helicopter, which they sell to us for $40 million or even more,” said Mr. Martirosov at the plenary session of the HeliRussia-2023 forum (quote from Interfax).

The head of UTair believes that the cost of the new Mi-26 will increase by 2-2.5 times. According to him, in the future, operators will be forced to raise prices for their services, thereby compensating for the costs of new helicopters. “The raid will be reduced immediately by 2.5-3 times. Mi-26 helicopters flew around Russia for about 5 thousand hours a year – everything will immediately drop to 1.5-2 thousand hours a year. The same thing will happen on the Mi-8,” he added.

In September 2022, it became known that the Russian Helicopters holding company introduced a ban on extending the service life of the Mi-8T and Mi-26T. As a result, more than 1,000 helicopters of this type can be written off within 2-3 years.

Russian Helicopters believes that such a measure will speed up the process of updating Russian aircraft. Chairman of the Board of the Helicopter Industry Association Mikhail Kazachkov said that the ban would increase the costs of federal and regional government contractors.

Lusine Balasyan


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