Aeroflot Il-96 damage sparks runway sweeping row

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Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot has sparked a row with the operator of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport after an Ilyushin Il-96 suffered fan-blade damage on landing.

The long-haul aircraft landed on 6 December and Aeroflot said that the blade damage was discovered during subsequent routine maintenance.

Aeroflot said that "low quality cleaning" of the runway at the airport had caused the damage, and added that a similar issue had recently occurred in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

But the airport operator has rejected the airline's claim, stating that an inspection of the airport found "no foreign objects on the runway which could cause damage of this nature".

It added that the nature of the damage indicated that it could have occurred in flight, and that a commission ought to assess matters such as the technical condition of the powerplant and the activities of the flight crew.

Aeroflot's claim is "premature", the airport operator added, without a proper investigation of the event.