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Oleksandr Kotsiuba: “It takes about $ 700 million to launch the serial production of new “Antonov” aircraft”

Oleksandr Kotsiuba, the president of “Antonov” state enterprise, talks about the difficulties and achievements of the main enterprise of the aircraft industry of Ukraine

March 2017 became an important for the history of state enterprise “Antonov”. A new demonstration plane had launched into the sky for the first time in March, 31st. It will become a universal aircraft, which can be used for both civilian and military purposes in future.

The launch of the new aircraft proves that the “Antonov” state enterprise does not plan to lose its important role in the Ukrainian and world aircraft history. Oleksandr Kotsiuba, the president of the company told, what does the company do for it, and how the management is going to attract investments in “Antonov” enterprise.

LDaily: “Antonov” state enterprise is considered as the national property of Ukraine. “AN” aircraft has always been famous all over the world. Mr. Oleksandr, taking into account this, explain please, how did the next crisis in the country affected the work of the enterprise?

O. Kotsiuba: The situation in our country has become a definite impetus for the reformation and further development of our enterprise. We have greatly expanded the international cooperation, searched a new strategic partner, new markets and have taken important steps to restructure the enterprise to ensure its accordance with international standards and norms over the past few years. There have been taken measures to develop the after-sales service system of aircraft. It should be noted that “Antonov” has received support also at the state level. Some bills have been adopted to promote the development of domestic aviation industry.

LDaily: “Antonov” state enterprise was in close partnership with Russia before the conflict in the East of Ukraine. How did the termination of cooperation with the aggressor country influenced to you?

O.Kotsiuba: We have been actively involved in the process of import substitution after the break-up of cooperative ties with Russia. It includes searching for the new suppliers, purchasing the relevant components, installing and testing them on the pilot aircrafts for certification purposes. The aircraft can not be put into operation and consequently also can not being supplied to customers without it. Only on the AN-148/AN-158 planes family should be replaced more than 5400 items of components. All that requires time and funding, which “Antonov” enterprise carries out at his own expense.

The time for import substitution is the time, which is selected in serial production. Today there are 10 aircrafts of the AN-148/AN-158 family with varying degrees of readiness in “Antonov” shops. To complete their construction, it is necessary to equip the planes both systems and aggregates from new manufacturers.

LDaily: And how many new aircrafts were in general released over the past few years?

O.Kotsiuba: “Antonov” enterprise began to engage in a serial production of aircrafts directly from the end of 2009, when according to the decision of Ukrainian government, a serial plant “Aviant” had been attached to the enterprise.  Since that time, the enterprise has been expanding the production of regional jet aircrafts AN-148, AN-158 and their aircraft components, which under the that time cooperative scheme were supplied to Russia, where the construction of AN-148 aircrafts was also carried out under license.

In the period from 2010 to 2015 there were built 4 AN-148, 6 AN-158 and 6 AN-32 aircrafts at the “Antonov serial plant”.

In 2015 there was completed construction and started testing of the new transport aircraft AN-178.

LDaily: Which countries are most actively buying Ukrainian aircrafts?

O.Kotsiuba: Traditional market niches of “Antonov” products are transports, regional planes, special purpose planes. One time they were exploited in 75 countries of the world. “AN” planes are well known in Asia, Latin America, Africa. They are valued, first of all for their reliability and unpretentiousness to the conditions of operation.

LDaily: Do the proposals on the construction of airplanes in cooperation with foreign partners come to the “Antonov” state enterprise now?

O.Kotsiuba: Yes, sure. For example, on March, 31st of this year a new demonstration aircraft AN-132D, created in close cooperation and at the request of a partner from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was launched in the sky. The enterprises of the domestic aviation industry, as well as the world leading companies- suppliers, joined its construction process. This program has developed at a high pace. Only a year and a half has passed from the beginning of its development to its first flight.

AN-132D is the first prototype of the upcoming AN-132 lightweight transport aircraft, designed for civilian and military tasks, capable to operate in different climate conditions and to base on various airports: including ground and highland. Its startup customer should be the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Afterwards we and our partners plan to get to other markets as well.

LDaily: Why was made the decision to sign a memorandum with the Chinese company “China airspace” on the AN-225 Mriya project?

O.Kotsiuba: This cooperation will be mutually beneficial. The main units (fuselage, wing, tail, center section) have been preserved at our enterprise since the Soviet Union, for the construction of the second copy of “Mriya”. However, it will be necessary to use a number of new systems and components for ensuring accordance of AN-225 to current standards. It will be an almost new aircraft with a new electronics and a “filling”.

All rights of the developer and holder of the AN-225 certificate will remain in the “Antonov” state enterprise.

LDaily: In your opinion, how much money investments does “Antonov” state enterprise need for launching a large-scale production?

O.Kotsiuba: It takes about $ 700 million to launch serial production of AN-148, AN-158, AN-178, AN-132 planes. This amount consists of a number of items of expenditure, including import substitution, preparation of production, purchase of high-performance equipment and modernization of existing equipment, reconstruction of production areas, development of existing and implementation of modern IT technologies.

The analysis of financial indicators of “Antonov” state enterprise for 2016 shows improvement of the economic conditions of the enterprise. Thus, in 2016 net profit in comparison with the same indicator for the previous year increased almost by 4,2 times to UAH 178.08 million.

According to the data of the company on performance indicators of the efficiency of using of state property, net profit from sales of products in the past year is about $ 3,64 billion. All payments in favor of the state for 2016 amounted to UAH 299,13 million.

At the same time EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for 2016 grew by 59,7% compared with 2015 and reached more than $ 37,32 million.

LDaily: Currently there is an active policy of attracting investors in Ukraine. What steps, in your opinion, should the state resort for attracting investments in aircraft construction and improving the image of the country in the world?

O.Kotsiuba: Changing of ownership of “Antonov” state enterprise is an important factor for achieving this goal. An appropriate decision has already been taken by the Government of Ukraine. The process has begun. The controlling block of shares will belong to the state, because “Antonov” is a strategic enterprise of Ukraine.

We have many interesting projects that we can offer investors. We are sure that attraction of investments into “Antonov” programs will be a powerful impetus for the development not only our enterprise, but also of the entire aircraft industry, which in turn will help to enhance the image of Ukraine as a high-tech state and a reliable partner in the field of international cooperation.

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