Chechen carrier opens international service

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Regional operator Vainakh-Avia, based in Russia's republic of Chechnya, has carried out its first international passenger service.

The airline last week performed a round-trip flight between the Chechen capital Grozny and Istanbul using a Yakovlev Yak-42 aircraft.

Managing director Sultan Gambulatov says it will launch regular charter services to Istanbul shortly and also plans to establish air links with Saudi Arabia, Syria, Kazakhstan and China.

Vainakh-Avia, also known as Grozny Avia, began domestic operations in 2007 with a Tupolev Tu-134. Its fleet comprises two wholly-owned and four leased Yak-42s.

Military conflict in Chechnya interrupted civil aviation activity in the republic for around 13 years from 1994.