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Saratov Airlines suspends operations as certificate expires

Russian carrier Saratov Airlines' revived hopes of maintaining services have ended after the country's civil aviation regulator failed to approve an extension to its operating certificate.

Saratov Airlines has cancelled all flights effective 30 May.

The airline had been operating on a temporary certificate, the validity of which expired on 30 May, after inspections discovered shortcomings in its activities.

It states that the carrier has received "no official results of decisions" from the regulator, Rosaviatsia, which had ordered the airline to address the issues.

Saratov Airlines had secured an initial extension of certificate validity from a previous 27 April deadline.

The airline had already warned in mid-May that it was preparing for closure, before the threat appeared to recede shortly afterwards.

Russia's transport ministry has ordered Rosaviatsia to co-ordinate arrangements with other airlines in order to maintain the Saratov Airlines route network.

It adds that Saratov Airlines' financial position will be examined in order to check its ability to refund passengers and pay its personnel.

Saratov Airlines, which uses Embraer E-Jets, Yakovlev Yak-42s and Antonov An-148s, had been under pressure since a fatal An-148 accident outside Moscow in February.

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