27 March, 2019

Russia's Nordwind Airlines has long-haul 60 min ETOPS permit withdrawn over safety issues.

Boeing 737 of Nordwind Airlines          Photo Nordwind 
On Monday 25th March, the Russian aviation regulator, the Federal Air Transport Agency restricted  Nordwind Airlines certification to fly certain routes.  Specifically, the regulators cancelled the airline's special permits for the operation of flights using the ETOPS rules (extended flight time to the alternate aerodrome over 60 minutes) and applies to the whole of the airlines fleet of aircraft.

The commission said it was removing the certificates for safety-related issues, which included pilot training discrepancies for ETOPS operations, a lack of technical staff at the carrier and maintenance not being carried out completely on aircraft. The issues were found during an unannounced and unscheduled inspection at the airlines base back in February of this year.  The regulator also advised that the restriction was not related to the financial and economic state of the company and is aimed at improving the level of flight safety on Nordwinds fleet.

Nordwind has a fleet that consists of 9 Airbus A321-200s, 2 Airbus A330-200s, 10 Boeing 737-800ngs, 6 Boeing 777-200s and 3 Boeing 777-300s and has in recent times built up quite a vast route network.  So far the airline has not made a public comment regarding the ETOPS permit suspension. 
Photo Nordwind Airlines