The maneuvers of the Ural pilots are checked by the supervisory authorities

Манёвры уральских пилотов проверяют надзорные органы

The “debriefing” of the incident with the emergency landing of the Ural Airlines Airbus A320 in a wheat field near Novosibirsk continues. The Transport Prosecutor’s Office is conducting an inspection, the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case.

The Federal Air Transport Agency devoted a separate circular to the incident and demanded that all domestic airlines additionally check the readiness of crews for flights with an abnormally changed configuration of the machine. This departmental correspondence became known to the media, but the press service of Ural Airlines did not confirm receipt of the circular and recalled that an investigation was still underway. The airline’s sharp reaction is understandable, because the Federal Air Transport Agency calls the landing on a wheat field a “serious aviation incident” and preliminarily names its cause – incorrectly calculated fuel residue by the crew.

A malfunction in the hydraulic system of the Boeing 777-200 charter airline Icarus (formerly Pegas Fly) delayed flight EO-3523 from Irkutsk to Phuket for three days. Accordingly, the stay in Phuket of tourists waiting for this flight was extended for three days at the expense of the tour operator. When the plane did take off, it became known that 69 people refused to fly. They were promised to refund the cost of the tour in full. Initially, 434 passengers were supposed to fly to Thailand.

Until the thunder breaks

Meanwhile, another attack for passenger aviation came from where they did not expect. On the contrary, recently there have been more and more reports of an increase in the fleet of airliners capable of safely making international flights without fear of sanctions. And so several airlines (Aeroflot, Rossiya, S7 Airlines, Yamal and Aurora) received a warning from the Federal Air Transport Agency about the new risk of arrest of aircraft belonging to foreign “daughters” of JSC State Transport Leasing Company (STLC) – GTLK Europe Capital DAC and GTLK Europe Designated Activity Company. The fact is that the “daughters” are now in the process of liquidation through bankruptcy proceedings and their planes have been included in the list of creditors’ claims.

The STLC press service emphasizes that long-term leasing agreements with a Russian legal entity (JSC “STLC”) were sent to all interested airlines in advance, and they were also notified about the risks of using the fleet outside the Russian legal field. As a result, the airlines got off with a slight scare, and S7 had a flight failure for a day or more on two routes – from Irkutsk to Bangkok and from Novosibirsk to Dubai.

Overbooking in Russian

There is some kind of strange game going on now with attempts to legalize overbooking on air transport. The fact that this concept needs to be defined and consolidated in the Air Code and by–laws is a sound idea, but I wonder what strategy will eventually be adopted. Overbooking has long been regulated in the West. For example, in January 2018, EN‑Tourism was supposed to fly KLM airlines from Geneva via Amsterdam to Moscow, but overbooking happened, and we were offered to fly through Paris, promising 105 Swiss francs compensation. We refused this offer, but in the end, those who want to “earn extra money” are always there.

And so in the first half of September at the WEF, Aeroflot CEO Sergey Alexandrovsky announced that he was working with the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation on the legalization of overbooking. Two weeks have passed, and information has appeared in the media that the State Duma will consider a bill banning overbooking on air transport. The authors of the initiative also propose that the carrier pay the passenger who did not have enough seats on the flight a 10-fold ticket price and compensate for all related expenses. It seems to us that Aeroflot did not mean such legalization.

The discussion of the State Duma version of amendments to the Air Code of the Russian Federation was originally scheduled for September 19, but until today, parliamentarians have not yet considered it. But again, I wonder whose point of view will win.

How I spent this summer

VTSIOM shared the results of the survey “How I spent this summer.” According to these data, the vast majority of Russians, 84% of the respondents, did not go on a tourist trip this summer. Of these, 35% worked and did not take a vacation at all, 26% spent their vacation in the country, and 23% at home. Of the remaining 16%, 13 traveled to Russia (where exactly, there is no data), and 3% traveled abroad. Most often, respondents named Turkey, Abkhazia, the UAE and Thailand.

Of course, it doesn’t sound very good as a percentage. But Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin recently reported that a record number of guests visited the capital this summer – more than 7 million, of which 6.5 million came to the capital from the regions of Russia. And 6.5 million is less than 5% the population of the country.

Cognitive statistics can also be deduced from the criminal plot about a pair of Tatarstan bloggers, Ilyusha and Rushan Minnegaliev, organizing a week-long vacation in Dubai for 30-35 thousand rubles. Moreover, this amount already included flights, accommodation, meals and transfers … Bloggers explained the low prices by the fact that they have no markups and intermediaries. After customers transfer money to the card without concluding a service agreement, the flight is canceled for some reason, of course, they promise to return the funds, but not immediately.

As of September 28, 958 victims from Tatarstan, Bashkiria and Moscow have already been recorded. The total amount of damage is estimated at 25.5 million rubles.

The couple has been living in the UAE for a long time and, despite the scandal, continues to advertise their services, however, having already tripled the minimum price tag to 88 thousand per tour.

Currently, Tatarstan police officers are conducting an inspection.

But in the story of the failed Caribbean cruise, AN‑Tourism even sympathizes with the travel agent who sold this tour to a married couple of employees of the Bashkir Rospotrebnadzor. The fact is that the couple refused the agency’s visa support: “We swam, we know.” And indeed, they were allowed to go to Miami, but they were no longer on the liner, since the visas ended on March 3, and the cruise ended on the 6th. Tourists did not take into account that when they left Miami for a Caribbean cruise, they left the United States, so it was no longer possible to re-enter the United States.

Upon their return, the tourists from Rospotrebnadzor demanded compensation from the travel agency, since, in their opinion, the agent had to check the validity period of the visa even if the visa escort was refused. As a result, the parties signed a settlement agreement, according to which the agent and the tour operator pay 50% of the amount requested by the plaintiffs – i.e. 100 thousand rubles each. The manager’s lawyer explained that his client simply did not dare to enter into litigation with an employee of Rospotrebnadzor and was forced to agree to compensation.

Frontier Vaudeville

The remaining two EU countries in the Balkans, which theoretically can be entered by car with Russian license plates, Greece and Bulgaria, have not made official announcements about their position on this issue over the past week. And practically, it has already become known about several cases of a ban on entry to Greece at the border with Turkey. Moreover, as the victims say, customs officers show the Russians a printout of the European Commission’s comment on September 8. However, there are already examples of entry to Greece (if necessary there) through Bulgaria. If you need to go somewhere else, then the working option is Bulgaria – Serbia – Hungary.

As we have already reported, Finland has introduced round-the-clock control at the border with Norway to prevent the entry of cars with Russian license plates. Additional controls have been introduced at all six road checkpoints on the Finnish-Norwegian border. I wonder, again, purely theoretically, whether this control will remain after October 3? After all, Norway has announced that since October 3, entry of cars with Russian license plates is prohibited. But recall that Norway is still the only European country bordering Russia that allows entry of Russians with tourist visas, and the ban on cars does not apply to buses.

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