Russia suspends B737 certification pending safety assurances

MOSCOW – An agency that oversees civil aviation in Russia says it is suspending the certification of Boeing 737 planes used by Russian airlines pending resolution of safety concerns.

The B-737 is flown by most major Russian airlines, but there were no immediate signs the Interstate Aviation Commission’s surprise announcement Thursday would disrupt air travel. The S7 airline, one of Russia’s largest, said it would continue to fly the plane.

In a statement reported by Russian news agencies, the committee said the certifications are suspended until the US Federal Aviation Agency and its Russian counterpart, Rosaviatsiya, give joint notice “supporting the safe operation” of 737s.

The move comes amid speculation about the cause of Saturday’s fatal Russian airliner crash in Egypt, but there was no indication it was connected to the crash.