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VIM Airlines to operate 42 flights over weekend

September 30, 23:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said that as of Saturday morning, about 28,500 passengers of the VIM Airlines are stranded abroad, with 8,000 of them in Turkey

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MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. VIM Airlines, which has suspended charter flights, is due to operate 22 domestic and international flights carrying 3,000 passengers on Saturday and 20 more flights are scheduled for Sunday, the Russian Transport Ministry posted the information on its site.

"On September 30, the VIM-Avia air carrier is to operate 22 regular domestic flights and charter international flights, carrying about 3,000 passengers. In particular, about 2,000 people will be transported from Antalya until the end of day," says the statement released after a meeting of the emergency response center chaired by Deputy Transport Minister Valery Okulov.

"VIM-Avia’s 20 flights are scheduled for Sunday, October 1, including three flights from Antalya to regions (Samara, Chelyabinsk and Nizhnevartovsk)," it reads.

The ministry has the required resources to take home the compatriots stranded abroad and the Transport Ministry "is ready to transport home [Russian] tourists from Turkey and other countries as soon as possible."

Earlier, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said that as of Saturday morning, about 28,500 passengers of the VIM Airlines are stranded abroad, with 8,000 of them in Turkey.

Russia’s tenth largest carrier, announced on September 25 that it was stopping all charter flight operations due to financial problems and shortage of the working capital. The announcement was preceded by a series of flight delays in Russian and foreign airports.

The air carrier obliged to transport more than 200,000 passengers before the end of this year.

The Federal Air Transport Agency has initiated an unscheduled inspection of VIM Airlines. According to the agency, substantial flight delays were linked to the company’s debts to fueling companies. The agency says that the VIM Airlines debt arrears had amounted to seven billion rubles ($121.638mln).

The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case into a suspected large-scale embezzlement by some of the company’s officials.

On Friday, a Moscow court has placed director general of Russia’s debt-laden VIM Airlines, Alexander Kochnev, who is charged with embezzling the company’s funds, under home arrest till November 25. Earlier in the day, the company’s chief accountant Yekaterina Panteleyeva was also placed under home arrest, also till November 25.

According to investigators, the company’s top managers have been drawing funds from the company’s accounts with an aim of their further embezzlement. Apart from that, being unable to serve its passenger the company continued to sell tickets.

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