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Samara-Bound Superjet Flight Turns Back To Moscow Shortly After Takeoff

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger plane at Sheremetyevo International Airport.
A Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger plane at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

MOSCOW -- A Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger plane has unexpectedly turned back to Sheremetyevo Airport shortly after taking off, increasing concerns over the safety of the aircraft after a similar jet crash-landed at the Moscow airport last week, killing dozens of people on board.

The Flightradar24 tracking service said that flight SU1206 operated by national airline Aeroflot left Sheremetyevo Airport at 1.59 a.m. local time on May 13 and headed to the city of Samara before it was diverted.

Aeroflot has not given any official explanation, but the Interfax news agency quoted a source at Sheremetyevo as saying that the plane had to turn back due a problem in the cockpit's pressurization system.

The timetable at the Samara airport said the flight had been canceled, along with the return flight from Samara to Moscow.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused a Murmansk-bound Superjet on May 5 to make an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo less than an hour after taking off. The jet burst into flames as it came to a stop, killing 41 of the 78 people on board.

Following the crash, Aeroflot canceled or delayed several of its flights that used the aircraft.

Transport Minister Yevgeny Ditrikh has said there was no reason to ground the planes pending the outcome of the investigation.

Manufactured by the state conglomerate United Aircraft Corporation, the Superjet is a midrange regional jet, conceived of as a way to help bolster the country's civil aviation-manufacturing industry in the face of competition from Boeing and Airbus, as well as Embraer and Bombardier.

With reporting by Interfax

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