Struggling SkyExpress brings in Yak-42s to restore schedule

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Russian budget carrier SkyExpress is recruiting Yakovlev Yak-42 aircraft from Tulpar Air and cutting back its network in order to avoid being grounded over poor punctuality.

SkyExpress was warned last week that it faced suspension of its operating licence as a result of the deteriorating service. Federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia had cited frequent instances of flights being delayed for several hours.

The airline says its management is "seriously concerned" over the matter.

SkyExpress, which has been trying to cope with a depleted fleet of just five aircraft, has brought in a Tulpar Yak-42 to bolster capacity and a second will become available today.

In order to ease the pressure on its resources SkyExpress has cancelling 17 scheduled services to destinations such as St Petersburg, Rostov, Perm and Murmansk for a period of 10 days from 24 July. It has also cut some 15 charter connections.