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Saratov Airlines grounds all Antonov-148 planes after passenger jet crash near Moscow

February 12, 12:30 UTC+3 SARATOV

An Antonov-148 liner of the Saratov Airlines crashed en route from Moscow to Orsk on February 11

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An-148 plane

An-148 plane

© Marina Lystseva/TASS

SARATOV, February 12. /TASS/. Russia’s Saratov Airlines has grounded all Antonov-148 planes following Sunday afternoon’s crash near Moscow, the company’s press-service has said.

"Saratov Airlines management has made a decision to suspend all flights to be performed by Antonov-148s. We present our apologies in advance for changes to the flight schedule," the company’s statement runs.

The press-service said the Saratov Airlines’ aircraft fleet included six Antonov-148-100 planes (without specifying whether the liner lost in the February 11 crash was one of them).

An Antonov-148 liner of the Saratov Airlines crashed en route from Moscow to Orsk last Sunday afternoon minutes after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport killing all 71 passengers and crew on board.

"The Antonov-148 plane (number RA-61704) was acquired in February 2017. In January 2018 the plane underwent a C-check. All components of the engines, the airframe and the wing were examined thoroughly," the press-service said.

The air carrier added that before each flight the plane underwent routine maintenance. The examination carried out before the departure from Moscow for Orsk exposed no flaws, the press-service said.

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