15 May 2019 18:51

Russia has no plans to reduce output of SSJ-100 planes in wake of Sheremetyevo plane crash - Manturov

SOCHI. May 15 (Interfax) - Russia is not planning to cut the manufacture of SSJ-100 passenger planes following the SSJ-100's crash-landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said.

"No. Why should we reduce output? Did someone refuse to buy the aircraft? No. There are no plans to curtail production," Manturov told reporters in reply to a question from Interfax.

He did not comment on various theories suggested by investigators in the wake of the air crash at Sheremetyevo Airport, but said that the decision to suspend flights of these aircraft has not been made. "As regards the suspension of flights, this decision was not made," the minister said.

The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) can make this decision, but "there are no any prerequisites for that," Manturov said.

In the evening on May 5, Aeroflot flight SU1492 from Moscow to Murmansk returned to its airport of departure, Sheremetyevo, made an emergency landing at 6:32 p.m. Moscow time and caught fire. Only part of the passengers and the crew out of 78 people on board managed to evacuate themselves from the burning plane via emergency chutes. As a result, the death toll of the accident is 41 people and ten people were hospitalized.

A source told Interfax that the crew sent a distress signal after the plane was hit by lightning at an altitude of about two kilometers. Radio and other systems were disabled, and the plane began an approach with full fuel tanks. A leg of the landing gear was destroyed after the plane hit the runway, and the engine caught fire.