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This weekend was troublesome for many Russian travelers
This weekend was troublesome for many Russian travelers. About 400 passengers of VIM-Avia spent over 24 hours at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport before finally setting off for Rimini. The first plane took off at 8:23 p.m. local time, while other followed at 8:43 p.m., a source at the central information office of Moscow airports told Itar-Tass. The delay was caused by bad weather in the zone of the Italian airport, airline spokesman Sergei Pinchuk told Itar-Tass. “Clouds limited runway visibility to 300 meters,” while international rules say that visibility must exceed 1,200 meters, he said. Thus, the airline was considering a flight to Rimini or a reserve airport, which is 80 kilometers away. The 440 passengers of the two flights, who were staying at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, were given hot food. Some passengers were accommodated at nearby hotels. The same was done for passengers waiting for the delayed flights in Rimini. Over 200 Russian tourists are waiting for the return to Moscow by a VIM-Avia flight from Barcelona. The passengers told Itar-Tass by phone their departure was scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Moscow time, but the flight was delayed for many hours. The delay is presumably caused by a technical problem, but the tourists think they have fallen victim of a fraud. They were not told about a possible delay when they were checking in for the flight but were let inside the boarding zone. Meanwhile, a source at the Spanish airline Service Air Iberica, which represents VIM-Avia in Barcelona, said that the plane is still in Russia. He said the tourists had received a free dinner at the airport. Pinchuk said that a Boeing 757 flew to Barcelona for the Russian tourists at about 7:00 p.m. Moscow time. He linked the Barcelona problem to the Rimini one. Meanwhile, an Ilyushin Il-62 of Krasnoyarsk Airlines was detained in the United Arab Emirates. The plane, carrying 180 Russian tourists, was en route from the Seychelles to Moscow. It made a technical stopover at Sharjah at 11:00 p.m. Moscow time on Saturday for refueling. However, local authorities banned further flight. They said the captain did not know English well enough and that flaw could cause an accident. The Russian Transport Supervisory Service will send an inquiry to Abu Dhabi aviation authorities. The service will ask about reasons for the detention of a Russian plane at the international airport of Sharjah on January 13, a service source told Itar-Tass on Sunday. “The local aviation authorities laid claims to the crew’s communication with the Abu Dhabi tower, and the crew was detained for an interview,” the service said. Officials managed to start the interview only at 8:00 a.m. on January 14. Each crewmember was interviewed, and all the problems were resolved. The plane finally arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport at 6:00 p.m. Moscow time on Sunday. The crew had to go through a medical examination, which confirmed their normal health and showed that there was no alcohol in their bloodstream, the service said.
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