EC admits to concerns over Russian carrier Pulkovo

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European Commission air transport representatives are to discuss concerns over Russia’s Pulkovo Airlines but have not yet embarked on any course of action regarding the carrier, writes David Kaminski-Morrow.

The EC confirms that it is focusing a degree of attention on the St Petersburg-based airline, although it has not clarified its reasons.

“There are some reasons for concern about this airline,” says a spokesperson for the EC transport commission. “But in any case, the Commission’s final position has still to be decided.”

The organisation is in the process of putting together its second quarterly update to its “blacklist” of air carriers which face restrictions on operating within Europe, but has not stated whether this activity is connected.

Pulkovo Airlines is one of Russia’s more high-profile carriers and inclusion on the EC blacklist, last updated in June, would be a surprising development. The carrier serves several destinations in Europe.

The airline was operating the Tupolev Tu-154 lost in a fatal accident in Ukraine during August in which all 170 passengers and crew on board were killed. Although the inquiry is still in progress, Russian investigators have been studying the contribution of poor weather to the crash.

Russia’s transport ministry has drawn up plans to improve safety oversight in the country following the Tu-154 crash, and the July loss of an S7 Airlines Airbus A310 at Irkutsk.

Pulkovo Airlines could not be reached to comment on the developments. EC regulators are expected to hold discussions and clarify the situation in early October.