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GORNO-ALTAISK, August 1 (Itar-Tass) — As many as 153 passengers of the bankrupt Continent air carrier are staying at Krasnoyarsk hotels. They are given three meals a day, the press service of the Krasnoyarsk Territory government reported in Krasnoyarsk on Monday.
According to the service, the operational headquarters for sending passengers of Continent by flights of other airlines continues to work at the Krasnoyarsk airport Yemelyanovo. The HQ is chaired by the territorial Minister of Industry and Energy Denis Pashkov. Taking part in the headquarters work are representatives of the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Risaviatsiya), Ymelyanovo airport, various airlines, Yeniseisk transport prosecutor’s office and Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service (Rospotrebnadzor).
On Sunday, July 31, a total of 19 passengers bound for Krasnodar, Sochi and Anapa, were dispatched to the destination by a flight of the Yakutia airline. On Monday, it is planned to dispatch 7 passengers by Flight SU-780 of Aeroflot airline to Samara (via Moscow). Another 77 passengers on August 2 will be sent by an additional charter flight of the KrasAvia airline to Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Neryungri, and 38 passengers – to Blagoveshchensk and 8 – to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are to be taken within the next two days if seats are available, by Transaero airline flights.
“Passengers of the Continent airline have been provided with all the needed assistance required in such situations,” Denis Pashkov said.
An official of the Rospotrebnadzor Consultative Centre for consumer rights protection will be on duty starting Tuesday in the Continent on the second floor of the air terminal building. All questions concerning the ticket return procedure can be put to the centre’s specialist, or the Yeniseisk transport prosecutor’s office. Telephones: Yenisei transport prosecutor’s office – (+ 259-19-61), Rospotrebnadzor Consultative Centre – (+ 226-89-98), the press service of the government of the Krasnoyarsk Territory reported.
On Saturday, a source in the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency told Itar-Tass that Continent, which announced bankruptcy and cancelled all flights on Friday, has sold 35,000 tickets to its flights up to September 11. According to the agency, as of Friday night as many as 1,140 Continent passengers were stuck at airports across the country. They have to board other flights to their destinations, including by VIM-Avia and Vladivostok-Avia.
Special commissions were set up to tackle the situation. “The work proceeds in several directions: money is being returned to passengers who hand back their unused tickets executed on forms of the Transport Clearing Company; some passengers with Continent tickets are admitted to vacant seats on flights performed by other airlines; additions flights were announced to take Continent passengers stranded in Anapa, Krasnodar, Sochi, Krasnoyarsk, Blagoveshchensk, and other cities,” the source said.
Spokeswoman for the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office Marina Gridneva on Saturday said, “As of July 30, about 370 tickets have been sold to the cancelled flights.” “The West Siberian transport prosecutor’s office is conducting a check and taking all possible measures to prevent violation of passengers’ rights. Contacts have been established with other airlines to organize transportation of passengers by other flights,” she said. “On Saturday, a West Siberian transport prosecutor’s deputy met with top official from the Krasnoyarsk administration of the Russian Air Transport Agency, Krasnoyarsk territory’s minister of industry and energy and executives from local business entities at the Krasnoyarsk airport. They outlined measures to be taken to reduce negative impacts of Continent’s bankruptcy,” she added.
Money for unused tickets sold by the Continent airlines itself may be repaid after the company sells its jet fleet.
In the meantime, the source in the Air Transport Agency said the airline obtained its flight certificate this June, and its “financial standing aroused no questions at that time.”
On Friday, after the airlines’ certificate was cancelled, the company’s director general Vladimir Krasilnikov was summoned to the Air Transport Agency. “He said the airlines lacked money after it bought out Tu-154M aircraft it used to lease,” the source said. According to Krasilnikov, the source noted, the company’s only liquid assets were these Tu-154M planes and the company “plans to sell them to repay money to passengers.”
Instructed by Russian Minister of Transport Igor Levitin, the Air Transport Agency requested the Prosecutor General’s Office to take adequate measures over the violation of passenger rights by the bankrupt airlines.
Moreover, the Agency initiated amendments to certification requirements to allow only airlines having a fleet of at least 20 one-type jets perform long- and medium-distance flights. Fifteen Russian airlines currently fall under this category. The rest should be classified as charter operators of regional operators.