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Bek Air’s Operating Certificate Suspended After Crash
Kazakhstani Bek Air has had its operating certificate suspended by government authorities. The suspension has come after the fatal crash of a Fokker F100 operating a domestic flight on the morning of December 27. The aircraft was operating a domestic flight from Almaty to the country’s capital Nur-Sultan. Preliminary reports indicate that 12 people have died in the crash, including the captain.
Bek Air is a domestic Kazakhstani airline that operates a fleet of eight Fokker F100 aircraft. The airline is based at the Oral Ak Zhol Airport, in the west of the country, with a focus city in Almaty. Flight 2100 crashed in the morning of December 27, shortly after takeoff from Almaty. There were 93 passengers and five crew members onboard the domestic flight to Nur-Sultan, mostly Kazakhstani citizens.
The aircraft crashed into a two-story building, and the accident is currently under investigation. Following the crash, the Kazakhstan aviation authority suspended the airline’s operating certificate, grounding all flights.
Aviation in the country has been under heavy scrutiny in the past. From 2009 to 2016 all Kazakhstani airlines, apart from Air Astana, were blacklisted from operating into the European Union.
The blacklisting ended following work by the government to improve and reform aviation safety in the country. The aircraft had a valid airworthiness certificate, and the crew of the flight were reportedly fully qualified. Bek Air had ordered new Irkut MC-21 to replace the aging Fokkers, with deliveries expected in 2021. The state of the orders and the airline following the suspension is unknown.
The investigation is just beginning in Almaty, but what is known is that the aircraft failed to gain height after takeoff and the weather was poor. Visibility was reduced due to mist and temperatures were below freezing. Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister has stated that the aircraft tail struck the runway twice during the takeoff roll. The investigation is underway by the government and the airline will be suspended indefinitely for the present time.
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