Aeroflot estimates it has lost $20 million as a result of the seven-week grounding of its Ilyushin Il-96-300s, which ended last week, writes Vladimir Karnozov.
The ban, which applied to all Russian-operated Il-96s, was lifted on 3 October by Russia’s federal agency for transport safety Rostransnadzor. The move was preceded by the dismisal of Vyacheslav Salikov, general director of the Il-96 production plant VASO, and Il-96 chief designer Vyacheslav Terentiev. The 19 August directive followed a 2 August incident involving President Vladimir Putin’s Il-96-300PU, which aborted take-off from Turku due to failure of a brake controller. A similar incident befell a Cubana Il-96-300 during manufacturer testing.
Rostransnadzor head Aleksandr Neradko says that operations were cleared to resume after “fulfillment of the troubleshooting programme” developed jointly by the aviation authorities and the industry. These included checks on all Il-96s and spares holdings.