YanAir (YE, Kiev Igor Sikorsky) has been forced to suspend flight operations as of 0000L (0300Z+3), Friday, June 7, after the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine (SAAU) suspended its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC).

According to the regulator, the decision to ground the carrier was taken after a "comprehensive" audit of the airline revealed several safety concerns, some of which were deemed "critical".

"In accordance with established procedures, the airline's AOC may be restored once it has eliminated the deficiencies and on the basis of the conclusions laid out in an ensuing inspection report which proves the air carrier's ability to provide an adequate level of safety," it said.

YanAir has since confirmed the suspension of flights adding that it would charter in capacity to fulfil its obligations.

"We expect the renewal of the certificate to come in the very near future but in the meantime, for the period of the aforementioned suspension, we are moving to ensure the fulfilment of all our flights using our partners' aircraft," it added.

YanAir specializes in ACMI/charter operations employing a fleet of six aircraft including one A321-100 (inactive), two B737-300s (of which one was recently wet-leased out to Eritrean Airlines), and three B737-400s. It also operates scheduled flights to Batumi in Georgia from each of Kharkiv, Kiev Boryspil, and Odesa in Ukraine.