A Saratov Airlines AN148 has crashed after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport with 71 people on board, all of whom are feared dead.
The flight was enroute to the city of Orsk, near the border with Kazakhstan. According to Flightradar24, the flight was descending at 3,300 ft per minute, just five minutes after takeoff. Soon after this, radar contact was lost. It is not known what caused the crash but the sudden descent prior to the crash could indicate some sort of fatal structural or equipment failure
Saratov Airlines is based in Saratov, about 800 km from Moscow. It was founded in 1931 and has received a prestigious award, “Krylia Rossii” (Russian Wings), three times. According to media reports, in 2015, it was banned from operating international flights. The reason? Surprise inspectors found someone other than the flight-crew in the cockpit. The airline appealed the decision and resumed operating international charter flights in 2016, after a change in its policy.
Its main destinations are domestic Russian cities but it also operates to select destinations in Armenia and Georgia. With its distinctive orange livery, Saratov Airlines operates five AN148, five Yak-42 and two Embraer 195. It is the first operator of Embraer EJets in Russia. Its fleet of AN148s are sub-leased from Rossiya Airlines, including RA-61704, the ill-fated aircraft that crashed today.
Flytewise expresses its sadness and sorrow at the regrettable incident and the loss of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the deceased. As we have more information, we will continue to update you.