Vim Avia 757. Courtesy photo

Rosaviatsia—Russia’s Dept. of Aviation/Ministry of Transport has prohibited VIM Avia (NN), the ninth biggest carrier in Russia, from flying to EU countries.

NN spokeswoman Elena Fedorova confirmed to ATW that the airline received a wire from authorities stating the carrier’s AOC restriction forbids it to fly to Europe with Boeing 757-200s.  But Fedorova said the carrier has not received the official document from Rosaviatsia yet. The Moscow-based carrier’s fleet consists of 11 757-200s.

In the winter season, NN has scheduled flights to Spain, Italy, Greece and Switzerland.

There were no official comments on Rosaviatsia’s decision but ATW understands that authorities can forbid NN flights to Europe because of unsatisfactory Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft results after inspection of one of the carrier’s aircraft in Europe. NN is negotiating with EU authorities to settle the problem. The carrier's representatives hope to resolve the problem within the next few weeks.

According to an NN spokeswoman, all passengers who bought tickets on European flights will be carried by Air Bashkortostan (ZU), which belongs to NN owners. ZU is based in Ufa (Bashkiria) and Moscow Domodedovo. Fedorova said that ZU has the rights to fly on these routes and has replaced NN on several past flights.

NN was launched in 2002. In 2004, it began to enlarge a share of the charter market but later launched a domestic network. During the first nine months of 2011, NN carried 1.28 million passengers.