Transaero Airlines (UN, Moscow Vnukovo) is facing imminent bankruptcy after a deal for Aeroflot (SU, Moscow Sheremetyevo) to acquire 75% and 1 additional share in the ailing Russian carrier has fallen through because not enough of Transaero’s shareholders have agreed with the plan by September 28. According to a report by Russian news agency TASS, Aeroflot has suspended payments for fuel purchased for Transaero flights starting today and several Transaero aircraft have already been left stranded abroad as they were no longer refueled.

Transaero and the Russian government are working on a solution to ensure all Transaero passengers will be reprotected and the transportation ministry is in talks with Aeroflot, S7 Airlines (S7, Novosibirsk), Ural Airlines (U6, Ekaterinburg), NordStar (Y7, Noril'sk) and other carriers to find a mutually agreeable commercial solution for a passenger reprotection agreement. Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Savelyev was quoting in local media as saying that all passengers would be carried or offered a refund. Transaero is no longer allowed to sell tickets to consumers in Russia for the time being. According to Central Asian Aviation News, it has also suspended ticket sales in Kazakhstan.

An updated statement from Transaero posted on its website states that all passengers holding confirmed reservations until December 15 would be carried and all passengers with travel dates after December 15 issued a full refund. It is unclear if they carrier or its creditors will choose to file for bankruptcy already. Should it completely suspend operations and file for bankruptcy, Transaero would be the largest carrier going out of business in recent industry history. According to ch-aviation pro, its current fleet includes 99 aircraft including 47 widebodies.

Quoting official documents, Russia's Kommersant newspaper said earlier this week that the failure to reach a deal came as a result of VTB Bank's unwillingness to dispose of its 25% stake in Transaero. The bank, as with other creditors, was reportedly opposed to the wholesale disposal of the airline and associated calls for debt-relief.