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Wed, Jun 12, 2019

Ukrainian Court Orders Seizure Of 5 Volga-Dnepr An-124s

Alleges Unauthorized Maintenance Checks Performed By The Russian Airline

The Podolsky District Court of Kiev has ordered the seizure of five An-124s operated by Volga-Dnepr Airlines (VI, Ulyanovsk Vostochny) alleging the Russian airline performed unauthorized maintenance checks on the aircraft.

CH-Aviation reports that Roman Marchenko from the Ilyashev & Partners law firm, which represents the Ukrainian manufacturer, said that the continuing operation of the airplanes "is a violation of the provisions of the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation and Airworthiness Guidelines. The seizure of property is allowed in order to ensure the safety of physical evidence and compensation for damage caused by the crime."

The court acted upon an earlier request submitted by the Main Directorate of the Ukrainian police.

There are five aircraft affected by the order:

  • RA-82068 (msn 9773051359127), stored at Ulyanovsk Vostochny since November 2018,
  • RA-82078 (msn 9773054559153), active and last seen at Abu Dhabi Int'l on June 9, 2019,
  • RA-82045 (msn 9773052255113), stored at Leipzig/Halle since January 2019 and operating technical flights around the airport,
  • RA-82046 (msn 9773052255117), stored at Tunis since June 2018,
  • RA-82077 (msn 9773054459151), active and last seen at Milan Malpensa on June 6, 2019.

None of the aircraft is currently in Ukraine, so the court appealed to international parties to execute the seizure and deny servicing the five aircraft. The appeal is not legally binding.

The dispute stems from an allegation that Volga-Dnepr Airlines and its Leipzig/Halle-based MRO subsidiary, AMTES GmbH performed heavy maintenance checks on the airplanes that were not authorized by the manufacturer, and extended the validity of their type certificates. Antonov says it is the only MRO center that is authorized to perform such checks on the airplane.

Volga-Dnepr and AMTES have denied the allegations.

The two sides have been at odds over the aircraft since 2014, when the Crimean Crisis and civil war led all relations between Russia and Ukraine to be severed. Talks concerning the the extension of the airworthiness certificates for the An-124 resumed in 2017, but have not produced any agreement. Currently, with Russian-registered aircraft barred from operating in Ukrainian airspace, any such checks would have to be performed in Russia or elsewhere.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines operates 12 An-124 airliners, making it the largest operator of the type. The airline did not respond to a request for comment from CH-Aviation.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report


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