Russian authorities ban Metrojet operations

Metrojet made its last flight in November 2015 Metrojet made its last flight in November 2015 (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo.com)

The Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA) has introduced restrictions on the certificate of the operator of charter airline Metrojet—a re-brand of the airline Kogalymavia—prohibiting the airline from operating flights on domestic and international routes due to financial difficulties. Previously, FATA gave Metrojet the option to initiate the suspension of the certificate itself.

Metrojet has been facing financial difficulties ever since the airline fell victim to a terrorist attack in Egypt, which brought down a Metrojet Airbus A321 soon after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheik Airport in October 2015. An additional blow to the airline came in the form of the complete ban of air travel to two of Russia’s most popular air travel destinations—Egypt, as a result of the October attack, and Turkey. According to the FATA, the carrier has been experiencing these financial difficulties for more than half a year. Metrojet made its last flight in November 2015.

In particular, the agency reports on outstanding debt accrued by Metrojet owed to employees, airports and to Russia’s Air Navigation Service. The airline has been unable to pay its debts since last year, as the Federal Air Transport Agency emphasized. The owners of the airline have attempted to ease the financial situation of the airline, but this has not led to any improvement in the debt burden. Currently, Metrojet has only one aircraft in its entire fleet.

As a result of its ever-deepening debt situation, Metrojet has already filed a bankruptcy claim with the Federal Tax Service.

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