Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA, also known as Rosaviatsiya) has extended the Saratov Airlines’ air operators certificate (AOC) for another month, until 30 May 2018, the carrier has revealed in a statement.
Its AOC had been restricted until April 27, as a result of an extraordinary audit of the airline following a fatal crash of an Antonov An-148 regional jet in February this year.
According to the airline’s management, it has now submitted to FATA all relevant documents confirming the identification and rectification of the shortcomings and inconsistencies.
The airline, which is continuing to operate as usual, is working to completely lift the AOC restrictions, insists Igor Natykan, new general director of Saratov Airlines, which has changed its top management, introduced a number of measures aimed at improving efficiencies and continues to implement a radical fleet modernisation plan.
By the end of this year the renewed carrier will undergo a change of brand name to Ivolga Airlines.
As part of the renewal process, Saratov Airlines has announced plans to phase out its entire fleet of Yakovlev Yak-42s by mid-2019. This year its fleet is expected to be boosted by the arrival of two Embraer E-190s and a Boeing 737-800, a new aircraft type for the carrier.
Furthermore, in 2019, the airline hopes to take two additional E195s and another B737-800 on lease, taking its fleet to six Embraers and two Boeings.
Currently Saratov’s fleet consists of two Embraer E195s, five An-148-100Bs and five Yak-42Ds. The carrier’s An-148s have been grounded by FATA in the wake of the February crash and its resulting investigation.
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