The problems of VIM Airlines (NN, Moscow Domodedovo) are mounting, with Russia's TASS news agency reporting that two of its aircraft have been seized at international airports. Analysis of FlightRadar24 ADS-B data shows that B777-200(ER) VP-BMR (msn 7192) has been in Antalya, Turkey and B777-300 VP-BSF (msn 29067) in Liège, Belgium since September 25.

"It is clear now the airline will not be able to carry passengers of charter flights using its resources. Its jets are under attachment due to debts in Antalya and Dalaman airports of the Republic of Turkey and in Liege airport," said Alexander Neradko from Russia's aviation agency (Rosaviatsia). He added that VIM's owner, Rashid Mursekaev, was quitting the aviation business and wanted to sell the airline for one ruble.

News of the seized aircraft comes hot on the heels of a criminal proceeding which has been brought against VIM by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (SLDKOM), which alleges that the airline has been engaged in large scale fraud. SLDKOM says that VIM has continued to sell tickets, even though they are aware that they cannot pay their fuel costs and transport passengers, thus deceitfully earning RUB1 million (USD17,000).

All of VIM's flights from and to Domodedovo airport have been cancelled, with other carriers scrambling to carry passengers holding VIM tickets. Rosaviatsia has set aside RUB200 million (USD3.45 million) to compensate airlines who pick up VIM's slack, while a number of VIM aircraft have been ferried to Moscow Vnukovo for use in repatriating the airline's 150,000 stranded passengers. According to ch-aviation analysis of FlightRadar24 ADS-B data, the VIM fleet currently actively operating from/to Vnukovo includes two A319-100s, one A330-200, two B757-200s, one B767-300(ER), four B777-200(ER)s and one B777-300(ER). Another VIM B777-200(ER) is still actively operating Hajj charters on behalf of its Saudi customer flynas (XY, Riyadh).

Although facing imminent closure, VIM's media team has been anxiously issuing press releases to reassure passengers. The airline also advised that it has paid RUB60 million (USD1 million) towards staff wages to bring it up to date as at July 2017. Members of VIM management will reportedly not be paid until all subordinate staff wages have been cleared.