KRASNOYARSK Civil aviation here could well be called something of a family business, but it is no relation to the notorious Kremlin "family" that has come to fame in Russia, said twin brothers Boris and Alexander Abramovich.
Neither are they related to controversial Kremlin "family" member and Duma deputy, Roman Abramovich.
The brothers Abramovich, 40, are Krasnoyarsk natives, and while Boris runs KrasAir, Alexander is at the helm of regional carrier, Sibaviatrans, a firm they set up together in 1994.
In Soviet times, the two were civil aviation engineers.
Boris Abramovich, for his part, had risen to the post of chief engineer of the Krasnoyarsk civil aviation sector in the late 1980s, which he headed before joining KrasAir in 1998.
Meanwhile, Sibaviatrans had been gaining momentum as a regional carrier rating among Russia's top 20, and Boris brought the expertise and management style of Sibaviatrans with him to KrasAir.
Abramovich said he inherited a lot of problems when he came to KrasAir.
The company had huge losses, 101.3 million rubles in 1998, which was pushing it to the verge of bankruptcy.
"Debt volume was well over 50 percent of the company's annual turnover," Abramovich said.
"The company was shrinking to a size less than that of Sibaviatrans," he added. "There was a real enough threat it would be absorbed by a stronger competitor."
Abramovich decided on swift and unpopular measures, which included a drastic reduction in the company's expenditure and laying off 16 percent of its staff. Today, the majority of the debts have either been paid, rescheduled or are being argued in court, said Abramovich.
"The results of last year show we have chosen the right strategy," he said.