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9 Airlines Grounded Over Unpaid Debts

Published: October 17, 2008 (Issue # 1417)


Nine airlines will be grounded by the end of the week due to overdue debts, aviation authorities announced Wednesday.

Three of the airlines — Interavia, Dalavia and Omskavia — had all but suspended flights already, stranding hundreds of passengers.

Moscow-based Interavia, which topped the list with an overdue debt of 19.2 million rubles ($729,000) has not flown since Oct. 9, missing 23 flights as of Wednesday, according to the web site of Domodedovo Airport.

Other big debtors include state-owned Dalavia, with 18.4 million rubles in overdue payments, and Omskavia, part of the troubled AirUnion alliance, with late payments of 4.9 million rubles.

The Federal Navigation Authority said the airlines had repeatedly been asked to pay their debts and that, in line with legislation, they had gotten a warning, followed by restriction of services on charter flights and now suspension of services for all flights, Interfax reported.

The process of withdrawing Interavia’s license might start on Oct. 26, the report said.

An Interavia representative at Domodedovo Airport said hundreds of passengers were waiting for information about when they could expect to fly.

“We do not know when the airline’s services will resume,” he said. “We do not know anything except that the airline is deeply in debt and we have not been paid for three months.”

Domodedovo spokesman Ildar Tuzmuhametov said the airport was waiting for the carrier to take action but would not comment on how soon the problems might be resolved or what was causing the delays.

He stressed that the delays were an internal problem of Interavia. “Flights of all other carriers at Domodedovo are landing and departing on time,” he said.

High fuel prices have caused problems for domestic carriers, resulting in last month’s government bailout of AiRUnion and the transfer of its stake to state-run Russian Technologies with instructions to form a new carrier. AiRUnion’s assets are being folded into a new holding, together with Atlant-Soyuz, controlled by the Moscow city government and several regional airlines.

Russian Technologies said it would take at least nine months to create the holding. The state corporation will repay $100 million of AiRUnion’s estimated $800 million debt and plans to renegotiate the rest.

The Federal Navigation Authority said that the other airlines that will be grounded as of Friday are Tesis, Vyborg, Aeroshchit, Irkutsk Bezbokov ASK ROSTO, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and Buguruslanskoye Letnoye Uchilishche.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Jan. 27


Observe the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekov's book will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.





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