MOSCOW, November 11 (RAPSI) – The Commercial Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region registered a bankruptcy lawsuit filed by VTB bank against Transaero airline, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.

Last Thursday the head of VTB, Andrei Kostin, said that initially the bank was not interested in Transaero’s bankruptcy, but there is no other way to proceed with situation now.

Earlier the court registered lawsuits filed by six other Irish companies affiliated with VTB Leasing demanding in total over $145 mln from Transaero. These companies are Larafort Aircraft Leasing Limited, Pembroke Exchanges Limited, Richdale Investments limited, VL Airleasing Limited, Stecker Limited and Capablue Limited. VTB Leasing has also filed a lawsuit demanding payment of debts and may file a bankruptcy petition against an airline.

According to Kostin, Transaero is not paying for aircraft leasing for over two months.  Transaero’s debt to VTB Leasing estimates 40 billion rubles ($645 mln), while debt to VTB itself estimates 12 billion rubles ($193.5 mln).

Transaero found itself unable to pay its debts estimating 250 bln rubles ($4 bln). Government-approved plan of transferring 75% of company’s shares to Aeroflot failed. Its problems resulted in a large number of flight cancels and delays.

Several companies such as Aeroflot, Russian Regional Development Bank, RN-Aero (Rosneft subsidiary) filed lawsuits against Transaero demanding payment of debts. In October Sberbank and Alfa Bank filed bankruptcy petitions against the troubled airline.