Russian regulators start grounding carriers

Moscow
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Russian regulators are set to ground several airlines as part of an effort to secure higher operational standards in the nation's air transport industry.

Alexander Neradko, chief of supervisory agency Rosaviatsia, has revealed that it has prepared directives on revoking licenses from three operators.

He declined to identify them, but said: "All three have already ceased selling tickets and passengers have been notified that they have terminated services and ceded their route rights to other carriers."

Rosaviatsia has decided to annul the air operator certificates due to the difficult financial situation of the carriers in question and not because of safety concerns, said Neradko.

He added: "Today, there are about 30 airlines that are in a risky zone and stand to lose their licenses. Some of them are controlled by the same financial groups. We've prepared proposals for their owners to consider consolidating those operations."