Aviation News – Aviation Voice https://aviationvoice.com Wed, 23 May 2018 08:47:02 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 A4A Projects Summer 2018 Air Travel to Rise 3.7 Percent to All-Time High https://aviationvoice.com/airlines-for-america-projects-summer-2018-air-travel-to-rise-3-7-percent-to-all-time-high-201805231147/ Wed, 23 May 2018 08:47:02 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21670 The industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines expects a record 246.1 million passengers — an average of 2.68 million per day — to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2018. This number is up 3.7 percent from last year’s record 237.3 million passengers. The nation’s carriers are adding 116,000 […]

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The industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines expects a record 246.1 million passengers — an average of 2.68 million per day — to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2018.

This number is up 3.7 percent from last year’s record 237.3 million passengers. The nation’s carriers are adding 116,000 seats per day to accommodate the 96,000 additional daily passengers they expect to carry during this period.

“As the economy grows along with household net worth, passengers are taking advantage of persistently low airfares for their summer travel plans,” said A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “This fall we will celebrate 40 years since the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act, which has enabled business and leisure travelers alike to reap the benefits of the nation’s safest form of transportation, while enjoying historically low airfares, increased in-flight amenities and modern technology throughout the flight experience, from the time of booking all the way through arrival at their destination.”

Airlines Report Strong First-Quarter 2018 Operational Performance

U.S. airlines reported strong operational performance in the first quarter of 2018, despite a challenging operating environment impacted by storms, airport construction and a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) outage. During this period, customer complaints continued to fall, with 0.98 complaints to the Department of Transportation (DOT) per 100,000 passengers, compared to 1.19 and 1.86 in the same period in 2017 and 2016, respectively. Year over year, the industry also reported:

  • the lowest-ever rate of involuntarily denied boardings, with only 1.2 involuntarily denied boardings per 100,000 passengers — down markedly from 6.2 in the first quarter of 2017;
  • improved on-time arrival rate to 79.98 percent from 79.42 percent; and,
  • slight dips in flight completion and properly handled bag rates, from 98.24 percent to 97.45 percent and from 99.74 percent to 99.71 percent, respectively.

Rising Expenses Reduce Airline Profitability

For the nine publicly traded U.S. passenger airlines, the 7 percent year over year growth in revenues was outpaced by a 9.9 percent rise in expenses in the first quarter 2018, causing a decline in profitability. The industry’s pre-tax profit margin of 4.9 percent was about half that of Marriott and one-sixth that of the U.S. rail sector. Cost increases were led by fuel, up 23.3 percent, and labor, up 6.8 percent. Pre-tax earnings for the group fell to $1.9 billion, down from $2.5 billion a year earlier.

Low Fares and Diverse, Expansive Route Networks Make Air Travel More Accessible Than Ever

Through 2017, inflation-adjusted airfares continued to fall, averaging less than 2010 fares both with and without ancillary fees included. In real terms, the price of domestic air travel – including fees – fell 12.5 percent from 2014 to 2017. In constant 2017 dollars, a round-trip “all-in” ticket averaged $363 in 2017, well below the 2010 average of $380. When choosing an airline, leisure travelers continue to rank affordability at the top, followed by flight schedule, on-time reliability and seat comfort.

The industry has become increasingly competitive to meet consumer demands, with low-cost and ultra low-cost carriers growing to serve more markets in the past decade. Competition between domestic city-pairs has also increased. As just one example, four carriers now compete effectively in the Boston-Akron/Cleveland market, including low and ultra low-cost carriers, compared to just two airlines in 2007, which then captured 93 percent of the market. From 2007 to 2017, real fares here declined 20 percent while the number of passengers rose 23 percent.

In 2018, customers are seeing an all-time high of more than 3 million daily seats departing from U.S. airports on a daily basis, up 3.3 percent year over year. Nearly every major airport has seen a boost in available seats over the past five years, including a 67 percent increase at Dallas Love Field, a 55 percent increase at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and a 54 percent jump at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. Many international markets are also thriving this summer, with scheduled seats from U.S. airports up 6.2 percent to Europe, 4.3 percent to Mexico, 4.1 percent to Central and South America, 3.2 percent to Canada and 2.7 percent to the South Pacific.

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UPS Boeing 747 Overruns Runway on Takeoff https://aviationvoice.com/ups-boeing-747-overruns-runway-on-takeoff-2-201805231129/ Wed, 23 May 2018 08:29:34 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21666 UPS Boeing 747 performing freight flight from Anchorage to Louisville was climbing out when upon contacting departure the crew advised they needed to return to Anchorage, two tyres were showing 0 pressure and obviously had lost pressure on deparure. The aircraft stopped the climb at 8500 feet, dumped fuel for about 45 minutes, performed a […]

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UPS Boeing 747 performing freight flight from Anchorage to Louisville was climbing out when upon contacting departure the crew advised they needed to return to Anchorage, two tyres were showing 0 pressure and obviously had lost pressure on deparure.

The aircraft stopped the climb at 8500 feet, dumped fuel for about 45 minutes, performed a low approach to runway 15 to have the gear checked from the ground, the observers didn’t see anything wrong, emergency services took their stand by positions, and the aircraft positioned for a landing on runway 07R about 90 minutes after departure.

Emergency services reported significant rubber on the runway, the runway was closed, too, tower reported one tyre was emitting smoke, no smoke was seen anymore when the aircraft came to a stop. Emergency services reported two tyres on the left main gear were completely missing. The Boeing 747-800 shut the engines down, UPS maintenance took care of the aircraft which was subsequently towed to the apron.

A runway inspection initiated after the crew reported two tyres showed zero pressure revealed damage to the runway end lights, the runway inspection closed the runway. A line of aircraft waiting for departure taxied to runway 15 via runway 25R and later departed from runway 15.

The FAA reported the Boeing 747-800 broke the runway end lights, dumped fuel and returned, upon landing blew a tyre and was towed. The aircraft sustained no damage, the occurrence was rated an incident.

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Xiamen Airlines Takes Delivery of its First Boeing 737 MAX https://aviationvoice.com/xiamen-airlines-takes-delivery-of-its-first-boeing-737-max-2-201805231121/ Wed, 23 May 2018 08:21:17 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21662 Xiamen Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Seattle, expanding the fleet to 200 aircraft, and, by doing so, formally entering the pantheon of the world’s largest airlines. The 737 MAX is the best-selling civil aircraft in the history of Boeing, featuring excellent performance, flexibility and efficiency. The 737 MAX can […]

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Xiamen Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Seattle, expanding the fleet to 200 aircraft, and, by doing so, formally entering the pantheon of the world’s largest airlines.

The 737 MAX is the best-selling civil aircraft in the history of Boeing, featuring excellent performance, flexibility and efficiency. The 737 MAX can offer passengers a more capacious and comfortable flying experience. Equipped with several of the latest technologies, including the winglet and a brand new engine, the aircraft outperforms the previous-generation model in flying performance, environmental protection and reliability.

With the addition of the aircraft, Xiamen Airlines passes a key milestone, with the size of the fleet now at 200 airplanes. The airline passed the first milestone of 100 planes in 2013, and continued to grow by adding roughly 20 aircraft per year and doubling the size of the fleet within five years. During the period, the airline’s operating profits also increased year by year, booking gross profits exceeding 10 billion yuan (approx. US$1.5 billion). The airline has been profitable for 31 consecutive years, reflecting the rapid growth in China’s civil aviation industry.

Che Shanglun, chairman of Xiamen Airlines, revealed that the airline’s rapid growth was mainly attributable to the economic stimulus that resulted from China’s reform and opening up and the constant improvement in the living standard across China, which, in turn, led to the massive boost in the demand for air travel. Over the past five years, the US, Europe and China recorded an average annual growth rate of roughly 4 percent, 6 percent and 10 percent in civil aviation passenger volume, respectively, while Xiamen Airlines experienced an average growth rate of 15 percent.

After expanding the fleet to 100 airplanes in 2013, Xiamen Airlines accelerated the move into international markets. The airline bought the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in August 2014 and launched the first intercontinental flight, between Xiamen and Amsterdam, in July 2015. Over the following two years, the airline launched 10 intercontinental flights to cities across Europe, North America and Oceania, including Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Seattle, Sydney and Vancouver. All the intercontinental flights are now serviced by Boeing 787 aircraft.

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Africa’s Busiest Passenger Air Routes Revealed https://aviationvoice.com/africas-busiest-passenger-air-routes-revealed-2-201805231014/ Wed, 23 May 2018 07:14:10 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21654 The 10 busiest passenger air routes in Africa have been revealed in a new study conducted by Routes. The research has found that the South African domestic flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport is the busiest on the continent. More than 4.7 million passengers flew the 1,292 km between the two […]

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The 10 busiest passenger air routes in Africa have been revealed in a new study conducted by Routes.

The research has found that the South African domestic flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport is the busiest on the continent. More than 4.7 million passengers flew the 1,292 km between the two airports in the last calendar year.

Routes’ study analysed the top 100 aviation routes in Africa by total capacity in 2017, according to OAG Schedules Analyser, and then ordered them using passenger data provided by Sabre Airline Solutions.

Eight airlines operated services between Cape Town (above) and O.R. Tambo International during the year, with the average cost of a ticket at US$78. In total there was in excess of 34,000 flights between the two destinations in 2017, equating to an average of 95 flights per day.

Second in the list is the flight between O.R. Tambo International and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport. A total of 2.87 million passengers flew between the two cities, which at just 498 km is the shortest flight by distance in the top 10.

The third-busiest route links Egypt’s capital city Cairo with the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah, while the flight between Nigeria’s capital Abuja and its largest city Lagos ranked fourth. The two services attracted 1.7 million and 1.3 million passengers respectively.

Completing the top five is Cape Town to Lanseria International Airport, situated to the north west of Johannesburg, with 1.2 million passengers.

The top 10 routes:

  1. Johannesburg O.r. Tambo (JNB) – Cape Town (CPT)
  2. Johannesburg O.r. Tambo (JNB) – Durban King Shaka (DUR)
  3. Cairo International (CAI) – Jeddah (JED)
  4. Abuja (ABV) – Lagos (LOS)
  5. Johannesburg Lanseria (HLA) – Cape Town (CPT)
  6. Durban King Shaka (DUR) – Cape Town (CPT)
  7. Johannesburg O.r. Tambo (JNB) – Port Elizabeth (PLZ)
  8. Johannesburg O.r. Tambo (JNB) – Dubai International (DXB)
  9. Cairo International (CAI) – Riyadh King Khalid (RUH)
  10. Cairo International (CAI) – Kuwait (KWI)

The research has been released by Routes – organiser of aviation network development conferences and events – ahead of Routes Africa 2018, an aviation event that will take place in Accra, Ghana (16-18 July 2018). Routes Africa is the continent’s most-established aviation forum, bringing together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa.

This year’s event will hear from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam; Raphael Kuuchi, vice president for Africa at The International Air Transport Association (IATA); and Ali Tounsi, secretary general of ACI Africa.

Steven Small, brand director of Routes said: “With the Single African Air Transport Market set to further liberalise and unify the African skies, it is no doubt an exciting time for the continent’s aviation industry.

“Routes Africa will bring together senior decision makers from Africa’s airlines, airports and destinations to plan new services. They will also discuss increasing the frequency and capacity of the existing routes that are popular with passengers.

“The negotiations in Accra could lead the way to the busiest African routes of the future.”

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Alaska Airlines Goes Strawless in Partnership with Nonprofit Lonely Whale https://aviationvoice.com/alaska-airlines-goes-strawless-in-partnership-with-nonprofit-lonely-whale-201805221057/ Tue, 22 May 2018 07:57:35 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21651 Alaska Airlines and Lonely Whale announced the airlines’ initiative to replace single-use, non-recyclable, plastic stir straws and citrus picks with sustainable alternatives in its airport lounges and on all domestic and international commercial flights starting July 16, 2018. The initiative is one of many in Alaska Airlines’ push for sustainability and goal of reducing its […]

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Alaska Airlines and Lonely Whale announced the airlines’ initiative to replace single-use, non-recyclable, plastic stir straws and citrus picks with sustainable alternatives in its airport lounges and on all domestic and international commercial flights starting July 16, 2018.

The initiative is one of many in Alaska Airlines’ push for sustainability and goal of reducing its inflight waste per passenger going to landfills by 70 percent by 2020.

“Whether providing fantastic service or leading in sustainability, caring about people and communities is in our DNA,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of external relations. “Without a doubt, we fly to some of the most beautiful places on earth, including many communities that depend on healthy oceans. We’re thrilled to partner with Lonely Whale to take this next step in our sustainability journey, and help keep the places we live and fly beautiful for years to come. It’s especially appropriate now as ending plastic pollution was the theme for Earth Day this year.”

The Earth Day Network declared ending plastic pollution to be the theme for Earth Day this year, which was April 22. The group challenged everyone to reduce the amount of plastic they consume.

Plastic straws are of special concern because they cannot be recycled and they’ve been shown to kill birds and other marine life. In 2017, Alaska Airlines handed out 22 million plastic stir straws and citrus picks. Those two items will be replaced starting in July with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, white birch stir sticks and a bamboo alternative for the citrus pick. Non-plastic, marine-friendly straws will be made available to guests with special needs and upon request.

Alaska Airlines is excited to partner with Lonely Whale, an incubator that drives impactful, market-based change on behalf of our ocean. Last year, Lonely Whale launched “For A Strawless Ocean,” a free public resource to reduce ocean plastic pollution. Starting with the elimination of single-use straws, the resource was designed as a toolkit to educate and demonstrate practical use cases.

“Assisting Alaska Airlines in removing plastic straws is an incredible opportunity,” said Dune Ives, Lonely Whale executive director. “The airline has the most comprehensive inflight recycling program of any U.S. carrier to date, and their previous and future commitments to biofuels and sustainability makes them the perfect partner for Lonely Whale. The banning of single-use plastic beverage straws sets a new standard for the travel industry, and we couldn’t be happier that Alaska Airlines is the first. U.S. airline to lead the charge.”

Since it started auditing its recycling efforts in 2010, Alaska Airlines has reduced passenger waste to landfill by 54 percent, essentially cutting waste in half. In the last eight years, flight attendants captured 12,000 tons of recyclable materials, about the same weight of 244 Boeing 737-900ERs.

“Building on our grassroots, employee-led recycling program, we’re thrilled to take the next step to protecting our land and oceans by removing single-use non-recyclable plastic straws from our planes,” said Jacqueline Drumheller, sustainability manager for Alaska Airlines.

To further reduce environmental impact, Alaska Airlines has replaced bottled beer with aluminum cans, which are lighter and easier to recycle; and a policy to refill plastic cups rather than requiring a new cup for every round of beverage service was reintroduced.

The Seattle-based airline is the leading U.S. airline on the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and has also been ranked No. 1 in fuel efficiency seven consecutive years by the International Council on Clean Transportation, an independent, nonprofit research organization.

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Onur Air Airbus A330 Landed Without Nose Gear https://aviationvoice.com/onur-air-airbus-a330-landed-without-nose-gear-2-201805221005/ Tue, 22 May 2018 07:05:58 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21644 An Onur Air Airbus A330 on behalf and in colours of Saudi Arabian Airlines was performing flight from Madinah to Dhaka when the crew decided to turn around and divert to Jeddah. The aircraft went around from about 1000 feet MSL on first approach due to an unsafe gear indication, entered a hold for about […]

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An Onur Air Airbus A330 on behalf and in colours of Saudi Arabian Airlines was performing flight from Madinah to Dhaka when the crew decided to turn around and divert to Jeddah.

The aircraft went around from about 1000 feet MSL on first approach due to an unsafe gear indication, entered a hold for about one hour while working the checklists, performed a low approach to Jeddah and subsequently positioned for a full stop landing without nose gear.

The aircraft landed on Jeddah’s runway 34R about 4.5 hours after departure from Madinah and skidded on main gear and aircraft nose producing sparks to a halt on the runway. The aircraft was evacuated. No injuries are being reported, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

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Ryanair Full Year 2018 Profits Rise 10% to €1.45 Billion https://aviationvoice.com/ryanair-full-year-2018-profits-rise-10-to-e1-45-billion-2-201805220953/ Tue, 22 May 2018 06:53:36 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21640 Ryanair has reported a 10% increase in full year profit after tax to €1.45bn, as lower fares (down 3%) stimulated 9% traffic growth to over 130m guests and 95% load factor. Average fares last year declined by 3% and traffic grew 9% to over 130m with Germany, Italy and Spain being the 3 largest growth […]

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Ryanair has reported a 10% increase in full year profit after tax to €1.45bn, as lower fares (down 3%) stimulated 9% traffic growth to over 130m guests and 95% load factor.

Average fares last year declined by 3% and traffic grew 9% to over 130m with Germany, Italy and Spain being the 3 largest growth markets. Ryanair expects above average EU capacity growth to continue into FY19, which will have a downward effect on fares.

During full-year 2018, which ended March 31, Ryanair took delivery of 50 new B737’s, and increased its Boeing order to 135 firm MAX-200 Gamechangers, with a further 75 under option (210 in total). Ryanair opened 4 bases in Burgas, Memmingen, Naples & Poznan and launched over 260 new routes.

In full-year 2019 Ryanair will invest substantially in its people, its systems and its business as the carrier scales up the operation to take delivery of 210 Boeing Gamechanger aircraft over the next 6 years. This will lead to a modest increase in ex-fuel unit costs next year but will underpin Ryanair’s growth to almost 600 aircraft and 200m guests p.a. by FY24.

Staff costs are expected to rise by almost €200m, half of which is higher pay for its front line people and half is additional headcount for growth.

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Airlines Faced with Critical Decision Making as Jet Fuel Prices Rise https://aviationvoice.com/airlines-faced-with-critical-decision-making-as-jet-fuel-prices-rise-2-201805220939/ Tue, 22 May 2018 06:39:17 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21636 With fuel coming second only to wages as an airline’s greatest outgoing, a period of critical planning awaits them with rising prices coinciding with the traditionally busy summer season. In 2018 alone jet fuel prices have risen 15 percent, while over the last twelve months they have risen by approximately 60 percent. With schedules and […]

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With fuel coming second only to wages as an airline’s greatest outgoing, a period of critical planning awaits them with rising prices coinciding with the traditionally busy summer season.

In 2018 alone jet fuel prices have risen 15 percent, while over the last twelve months they have risen by approximately 60 percent.

With schedules and ticket prices set many months in advance, today’s passengers are free from any likely change in strategy to combat rising fuel prices. More to the point, passengers are benefitting from anything up to a reduction of 9 percent on ticket costs compared to summer last year for international flights, and 6 percent for domestic flights. The result has seen airline capacity between the U.S and abroad rise by 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

The options available to carriers will likely come from one of three options – raise prices, trim less cost-effective routes, or charge for extras on no-frills flights. American Airlines has indicated it will be cutting one Chicago-Beijing flight from its schedule, while some South American routes will also be dropped. On the whole, airlines are reluctant to pare back route schedules as low-cost carriers are still looking to expand theirs.

However, with airlines facing stiff competition and passenger loyalty to any specific brand at a low, one wrong move could prove costly, and shareholders will always be quick to punish. Currently, airlines will be playing their own version of ‘chicken’ and will likely withhold making any radical changes to fares or schedules for as long as possible for fear of losing customers to their competitors.

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Silkair to Be Merged with Singapore Airlines https://aviationvoice.com/silkair-to-be-merged-with-singapore-airlines-2-201805181423/ Fri, 18 May 2018 11:23:18 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21627 Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing, SilkAir, is to undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative that will ultimately see it merged into SIA. The programme will comprise investment of more than $100 million to upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins with new lie-flat seats in Business […]

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Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing, SilkAir, is to undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative that will ultimately see it merged into SIA.

The programme will comprise investment of more than $100 million to upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class. This will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network.

Aircraft cabin upgrades are expected to start in 2020 due to lead times required by seat suppliers, including to complete certification processes. The merger will take place only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products. Specific details will be announced progressively as the programme develops and timelines are finalised.

Consistent with ongoing efforts to optimise the SIA Group’s network, there will also be transfers of routes and aircraft between the different airlines in the portfolio.

“Singapore Airlines is one year into our three-year Transformation Programme and today’s announcement is a significant development to provide more growth opportunities and prepare the Group for an even stronger future,” said SIA CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.

“Importantly, it will be positive for our customers. It is another example of the major investment we are making to ensure that our products and services continue to lead the industry across short-, medium- and long-haul routes.”

SilkAir is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, operating a fleet of 11 Airbus A320-family aircraft and 22 Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX 8 aircraft. It is currently transitioning to an all-737 fleet, and serves 49 destinations in 16 countries.

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Saratov Airlines to Stop Operations on Rosaviatsia’s Request May 31 https://aviationvoice.com/saratov-airlines-to-stop-operations-on-rosaviatsias-request-may-31-2-201805181348/ Fri, 18 May 2018 10:48:27 +0000 https://aviationvoice.com/?p=21622 Russia’s air carrier Saratov Airlines to suspend operation on May 31 following Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) notification. The carrier was asked to stop selling tickets to “prevent violations of passenger rights and the development of the crisis situation”. “On May 17, 2018 Saratov Airlines received a letter from Head of Transport Regulation Department of […]

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Russia’s air carrier Saratov Airlines to suspend operation on May 31 following Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) notification. The carrier was asked to stop selling tickets to “prevent violations of passenger rights and the development of the crisis situation”.

“On May 17, 2018 Saratov Airlines received a letter from Head of Transport Regulation Department of the Federal Air Transport Agency Andrey Kruglov on suspension of air ticket sales starting May 30 of this year. The airline views the document as restriction of its air operator certificate starting May 31. In this regard, the management of Saratov Airlines has made a decision on suspension of operations starting May 31, 2018,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The airline undertakes to return all passengers to Russia by 30 May. Since 18 July, the carrier has also had to sue the company’s employees. This is about 1.2 thousand professionals who “will be on the street,” explained in “Saratov Airlines.” At the same time, the company closed the booking and issuing of tickets as part of agreements with tour operators.

Saratov Airlines will return passengers money for tickets already purchased in the event of the final closure of the airline, the press service added.

An An-148 aircraft of the Saratov Airlines crashed en route from Moscow to Orsk crashed in February at Moscow Region after takeoff from Domodedovo killing all 71 passengers and crew on board.

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