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Flights Delayed for 3rd Day at Domodedovo Airport

A Kolavia Airbus A320 parked at Domodedovo Airport in 2009. The airline has experienced huge delays this week. Sergey Kustov

Flight delays persisted Friday at Domodedovo Airport as federal authorities linked at least some of the trouble, now in its third day, to mechanical problems with the aircraft.

Scores of vacationers were stranded at the Moscow airport for an one hour or more as airlines postponed flights to the resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt and Antalya, Turkey, Interfax reported. A flight to Tel Aviv and a second to Tenerife, Canary Islands, were also behind schedule.

The longest reported delay was a UTair flight to Antalya, which was rescheduled from 1:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The latest trouble came after flights operated by the airlines Kolavia and Yamal faced massive delays on flights to Egypt and Turkey on Wednesday and Thursday that prompted the Russian Union of Travel Industry to suggest that the airlines had overbooked their flights amid strong holiday sales.

But the Federal Air Transport Agency said the problem was that the planes themselves had not passed the necessary preflight checks to be declared airworthy, Prime news agency reported late Thursday.

Complicating matters, passenger traffic jumped by at least 10 percent this week, when the country shuts down for the extended May Day holiday, the Federal Air Transport Agency said.

It said delayed passengers had been provided with food, water and, if necessary, hotel rooms by their airlines.

No more delays were reported Friday. But additional delays could hit all three Moscow airports as the Air Force carries out practice flights for the Victory Day parade on Red Square on May 9.

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