UPDATE3: Russia annuls Saratov Airlines’ air operator certificate from Wed
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MOSCOW/SARATOV, May 30 (PRIME) -- The air operator certificate of Saratov Airlines has been annulled from Wednesday and the Transport Ministry is working on carrying the passengers of the failed airline, according to a statement seen by PRIME.
“The airline’s air operator certificate was annulled on May 30, 2018 after extraordinary checks by the Federal Air Transport Agency organized after the catastrophe of February 11, 2018 with the An-148 jet of Saratov Airlines, in correspondence with the federal aviation rules, after the allotted time for elimination of the detected objections,” the ministry said.
The authorities are working with Aeroflot, Siberia Airlines, Ural Airlines, UTair, UVT Aero, RusLine, NordStar, Nordwind Airlines, Yakutia Airlines, Yamal Airlines, Red Wings and Nordavia to carry the passengers of Saratov Airlines.
The Federal Air Transport Agency said that Russian airlines must carry 8,700 passengers of Saratov Airlines on flights scheduled for dates through June 13.
A spokesperson for Aeroflot told PRIME that the company is ready to continue regular flights to Saratov if the airport of the city is not closed by the shareholders as Saratov Airlines, the largest airline using the facility, goes out of business.
Aeroflot also asked for two additional flights a day to the city, the spokesperson said. “Aeroflot will participate in carrying the passengers of Saratov Airlines if two additional flights are approved.”
A spokesperson for Saratov Airlines said that the airport of Saratov will continue its operations but will change the schedule from Friday.
Deputy Governor of the Saratov Region Igor Pivovarov said that the local authorities will ask the Federal Antimonopoly Service to check the law compliance during distribution of flight permits between airlines by the Saratov airport.
UTair said in 2011 that its requests to start flights from the airport were declined five times. According to the website of the airport, only Saratov Airlines and Aeroflot have been carrying flights recently, and Aeroflot had only two daily flights.
The Transport Ministry said that the airport of Saratov will provide additional slots for airlines, which expressed readiness to transport passengers of Saratov Airlines until June 13.
The Prosecutor General’s office said the southern transport prosecutor’s office launched a probe into a possible closure of the airport.
The current airport is located in the center of Saratov, while a new airport is being built in 30 kilometers from the city. Its launch is scheduled for mid-2019, after what the current airport will be closed.
Saratov Airlines said that it will return the ticket cost to passengers under the claim procedure. A spokesperson of the airline said that the company had stopped its operating activities.
Yelena Grigoryeva, press secretary of the Saratov Region’s employment, labor and migration ministry, told PRIME that Saratov Airlines plans to lay off 998 out of 1,003 employees from August 30.
The Transport Ministry also said that the airline’s shareholder could create a new air carrier.