Tatarstan, Tatneft distance themselves from problems with VIM Airlines
KAZAN. Sept 25 (Interfax) - Tatarstan has no relationship to liabilities of Tatarstan-registered VIM Airlines, the head of Tatarstan President's press office, Eduard Khairullin, told Interfax.
"Neither the government of Tatarstan nor the company Tatneft, have ties to the liabilities of VIM Airlines," he said.
Tatneft also did not confirm to Interfax information about alleged financing for the airline during a press statement. "Yes, we are one of the company's creditors as a supplier of fuel, but nothing more," the company representative said.
There were reports earlier in media outlets that Tatneft, which supplies the airline with fuel, the government of Tatarstan, and the closely-aligned Zenit Bank had agreed to support the operations of VIM Airlines over the weekend.
VIM Airlines withheld over 10 flights from Moscow's Domodedovo airport over the previous two days. Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) said that the situation was caused by the company's unresolved debt to fuel companies.
A Rosaviatsia representative told Interfax that the agency had begun a spot check of the airline. The Prosecutor General's office has demanded that any violations uncovered during the inspection be remedied.
VIM Airlines flew 466,400 people in January-April 2017 and was the tenth largest airline in Russia according to Rosaviatsia data. It provides regular and charter flights across Russia, as well as to Central Asia and Europe. It is based in Moscow's Domodedovo airport. The company's fleet consists of Boeing-737-500, -757-200, -767-300, -777-200, A319-111 and A330-200.
According to the SPARK-Interfax analytical system, the airline is owned by Russian citizens Svetlana and Rashid Mursikaev.