Russia’s Utair plans to use Peru as hub to expand throughout Latin America

Isabel Guerra

Russia’s Utair, which bought Peruvian sister companies AviaSur and HeliSur last year, is planning to expand its operations throughout Latin American region.

"The prospective is to make the Peruvian company the base for expansion in the Latin American market," says Mamed Kasumov, HeliSur/AviaSur vice-President, adding that "We are looking now at Ecuador, Chile and Brazil."

HeliSur currently now operates on-shore missions "for oil and gas exploration companies working in Peru," but sees also an emerging requirement in Peru for offshore oil missions.

In addition, UTair sees potential in other sectors: "Oil and gas is only one field of activity. We can perform firefighting. We can perform construction work. We can provide heavy cargo delivery. We know there are opportunities," points out Kasumov.

Kasumov, who is also director of UTair’s New York-based US division, says that when the group was looking at other South American markets, Peru offered the best option, not only due its strategic geographic location, but also because local market was no so crowded: the two companies they acquired already controlled two-thirds of "the Peruvian helicopter operations market.

UTair still considers that concluded the Latin American market offers significant potential "even in terms of the decline of the world economy".

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