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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

4 Airlines Warned Over Holiday Delays

A Transportation Ministry watchdog has warned four domestic airlines that their licenses could be revoked after a series of delays over the New Year's holiday period.

The airlines -- Sibir, KrasAir, Vim-Avia and Bashkirskie Airlines -- could have their licenses withdrawn if the offenses are repeated, Yevgeny Bachurin, deputy director of the ministry's Federal Air Transportation Agency, said at a news conference Tuesday, Kommersant reported.

But by Tuesday evening at least one of the airlines, Sibir, had already had the official warning withdrawn.

"The watchdog accepted our proposals for improvement," Sibir spokesman Ilya Novokhatsky said, adding that the airline had received and responded to the letter of warning Friday.

Novokhatsky admitted that most of the 22 Sibir flights delayed since Dec. 25 were due to technical problems, while only a small number were held up due to poor weather.

KrasAir spokeswoman Natalya Burnistrova said Wednesday that it was difficult to comment as the airline had not yet received a copy of the warning from the agency.

Asked about similar delays of Transaero flights over the holiday period, Bachurin denied that the airline was receiving preferential treatment from the state regulators.

"That means that no critical observations were made. We conducted a thorough inspection and did not only look at delays," Bachurin said.