"Such a decision, as of today, would be premature," Manturov replied, when asked if he considers it appropriate to remove the Tu-154 planes from service.
"The designated service time of this aircraft [Tu-154] is currently 40 years, while some foreign analogues have a life cycle of 60 years," Manturov said.
Commenting on whether or not Tu-154s flights should be suspended, Manturov noted that it was up to aircraft operators to make a respective decision.
"First, it is necessary to complete the investigation and find out the causes, and then take one or another decision," he outlined.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry Tu-154 aircraft en route to Syria with 92 people on board crashed in the Black Sea shortly after refueling at an airport in the resort city of Adler. Most of the passengers were members of the famous army choir of the Russian armed forces, the Alexandrov Ensemble, who were traveling from Moscow to Hmeymim airbase in Syria to take part in New Year celebrations.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the crashed Tu-154 aircraft was built in 1983 and spent 6,689 hours in flight. The recent technical maintenance of the plane was conducted in September 2016.