30/7 Tass 76
MOSCOW, July 30 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has launched a check over the cancellation of flights of bankrupt Continent airlines, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General’s Office said on Saturday.
“In order to prevent violations of passenger rights, the Prosecutor Generals Office has instructed transport prosecutor to take all necessary measures to provide passengers of the bankrupt airlines with hotel accommodations, meals and other conveniences,” said Marina Gridneva. “The Moscow transport prosecutor is now checking how the Continent airlines fulfils the requirements of law.”
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has taken the situation under its control.
The Continent airlines, which announced bankruptcy and cancelled all flights on Friday, has sold 35,000 tickets to its flights up to September 11, a source in the Russian Air Transport Agency told Itar-Tass.
According to the agency, as of Friday night as many as 1,140 Continent passengers were stuck at airports across the country. Now they are being taken to their destinations by other air carries, including 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.
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 obtained its flight certificate this June, and its “financial standing arouse 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.