Azur Air airline may stop flights from March 21

During the verification of the airline Rosaviatsia detected shortcomings concerning the maintenance of airworthiness of airplanes and organization of flight activity.

“Azur Air airline can stop flights from March 21, if it does not eliminate all the shortcomings which significantly affect the safety of flights”, - says the statement of Rosaviatsia. The agency limited the airline’s air operator's certificate (AOC)* until March 20, 2018, because after verification at the end of 2017 the airline did not eliminate all shortcomings concerning the flight safety.

"Azur Air did not confirm the elimination of the identified inconsistencies and faults on a full scale. After removing of all the shortcomings the restrictions may be lifted in accordance with the legislation. Otherwise, on March 21 the airline may stop its flight activity", - added the statement.

“Until March 20, inclusive, the carrier fully continues its operational activities and performs commercial air transportation in accordance with previously committed obligations”, - the report says.

As explained in Rosaviatsii, in accordance with the requirements of Russian air law, if airline significantly violates the requirements of safety of flights, the AOC may be limited by air authorities for certain period or suspended or annulled.

In the evening February 02, 2018 Azur Air sent out a press release stating that the company does not see any difficulties in eliminating the faults and shortcomings which were revealed by the regulator. AZUR Air continues its operational activity and performs commercial air transportation in full.

The airline also promises that in the shortest time an application will be prepared and handed over to Rosaviatsiya for the removal of the AOC limitations with the attachment of all the necessary documents evidencing the elimination of shortcomings.

According to Rosaviation, Azur Air is the eighth largest airline in Russia. In 2017 the company transported 3.7 million passengers. The main customer of Azur Air flights is Anex Tour operator.

As observers explain, the most painful issue for the airline and its main customer of flights - ANEX Tour - is the impossibility to sell tours for the summer season in accordance with the early booking program before fulfilling of all the regulator's requirements.

*An air operator's certificate (AOC) is the approval granted by a national aviation authority (NAA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public. The certificate will list the aircraft types and registrations to be used, for what purpose and in what area - specific airports or geographic region.