No entry to European skies for six Russian air carriers

The Federal Russian Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) has restricted Europe-bound flights operated by six of the country’s air carriers.

“The restrictions have been introduced to prevent Russian companies from obtaining a negative status and avoid getting on the black list since their airplanes, notably the Boeing 757-200, don’t match the European standards,”  said the Head of Federal Air Transport Agency, Alexander Neradko.

The list of companies includes Vim-Avia, Dagestan Airlines, Yakutia Airlines, Tatarstan, AviastarTU and Utair-cargo.

“Rosaviatsia’s preventive sanctions should stop these companies from being put on the European blacklist.”

VIM Avia co-owner, Rashid Mursekayev, said.

Mursekayev added that his company had received a complete ban on flights to Europe. Meanwhile, the flights will be operated by its subsidiary, Bashkortostan Airlines, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia.

VIM Avia operates regular flights to Spain, Italy, Greece and Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU, but participates in the work of Eurocontrol – the organization that manages movement through a single European air space.

Rosaviatsia’s statement says that currently there are no Russian air carriers on the list of companies that are not allowed to fly within the EU.

Dagestan Airlines told the Russian daily Vedomosti that the company was only planning to introduce flights to Europe in 2012.

Tatarstan Airlines claims in its statement the carrier’s regular flights to Europe will not be affected as the requirement concerns only charter flights, of which the company makes only few.

Neradko from Rosaviatsia said the restrictions were imposed on November 2, with further implications to become clear in the coming weeks.

He added that the agency wants to make sure that Russian carriers are in line with all standards before they go through European inspectors’ rigorous check-up.

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