MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's largest airline, Aeroflot, has been forced to cancel the first commercial flights by its new Boeing 777-300ER airliners scheduled for Friday due to lack of a type certificate for the plane, Aeroflot said Thursday.
The Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), which oversees use and management of civil aircraft in the CIS, has not issued a type certificate for the -300ER variant of the Boeing 777 aircraft and the Russian aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia cannot grant permission for the operation of the new airliner, Aeroflot said, referring to a Rosaviatsia statement.
“In view of this, Aeroflot is forced to postpone the first commercial flight scheduled for February 1,” the airline said in a statement.
Earlier variants of the Boeing 777 aircraft, the Boeing 777-200 and -300 series, have already been certified in Russia. The -300ER (Extended Range) variant has longer range, more powerful engines and minor aerodynamic changes, according to Boeing.
Under Russia’s Aviation Code, an aircraft produced abroad and supplied for operation in Russia must be certificated by the Interstate Aviation Committee, a Rosaviatsia spokesman said.
“The Interstate Aviation Committee has so far not issued a type certificate to the Boeing Company for the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for Aeroflot airlines,” the spokesman said.
The Interstate Aviation Committee refused to comment on the situation.
“Considering that Aeroflot has promptly fulfilled all procedures stipulated by legislation to start commercial operation of the airliner, the company will take measures to recover the damage caused,” the airline said, without specifying against whom it would claim.
Meanwhile, Boeing told the Prime business news agency that it had provided all the information required for the certification of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Russian regulating authorities in time. The company added that Boeing 777-300ERs owned by other airlines regularly land in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports.
Aeroflot had planned to start operating Boeing 777-300ER airlines from February 2013. The first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was delivered to Aeroflot on January 30, 2013.
A Rosaviatsia spokesman said Russia and the United States signed a BASA (Bilateral Air Service) agreement in 1998, which stipulates simplified procedures for granting type certificates.
Aeroflot said it expected to receive 13 Boeing 777 aircraft in 2013-2015.
Updated with comment from Boeing.
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