ABAKAN, Khakassia, August 12 (Itar-Tass) —— More than 100 passengers of the bankrupt Continent Airline have been stranded in Abakan for almost two weeks. Many passengers are traveling with children. The passengers are out of money and patience. The Khakassia government supplied them with hot food and accommodation in Chernogorsk.
The airport administration and the city authorities know the precise number of the stranded Continent passengers, a source at the Abakan airport told Itar-Tass on Friday. “Airport service have no such information, but there are still plenty of passengers waiting for transportation to Norilsk,” he said.
Small groups of passengers boarded planes of other airlines until Friday. It was announced in the end that the remaining passengers would have to buy new tickets.
Attempts to resolve the situation with the help of the Krasnoyarsk territorial authorities proved abortive, airport acting general director Sergei Tuchkin said. Other airlines refused to take aboard Continent passengers on Friday.
Nevertheless, representatives of the Khakassia Transport Ministry said they resolved the problem. A Tupolev Tu-154 will transport the remaining passengers to Norilsk on Monday, August 15.
Continent announced its bankruptcy on July 29 and its license was revoked. “Russian airports stopped fueling Continent jets, as the airline was unable to pay for jet fuel,” the Federal Air Transport Service told Itar-Tass.
As of July 29, the airline’s debts to airports reached 32 million rubles. The airline has 35,000 tickets sold for the period until 11.
The Transport Clearing Chamber ordered ticket offices to pay refunds. Passengers who bought tickets online would have to appeal to courts for returning their money.
Sixty-nine flights with more than 3,000 passengers were cancelled from July 29 through 31 because of the Federal Air Transport Service’s revocation of the Continent license, the Prosecutor General’s Office said.
Transport prosecutors are assisting the transportation of the Continent passengers and providing them with various services, such as hotel accommodation, catering, refreshments, mother and child rooms and so on.
The passengers were transported by jetliners of other airlines or train. Some passengers received refunds.
Continent General Director Vladimir Krasilnikov, 62, was detained and questioned as a witness, the Moscow transport investigations department spokesperson told Itar-Tass.
She said that the fraud case had been opened.