Passengers banned from flying after assaulting Vietnam Airlines employee

By Doan Loan, Vo Hai   October 20, 2016 | 05:40 am PT
Passengers banned from flying after assaulting Vietnam Airlines employee
A still from the video clip that shows two male passengers attack a female Vietnam Airlines employee at Noi Bai International Airport on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister has demanded a full investigation into the incident.

Two male passengers who assaulted a female Vietnam Airlines employee at Noi Bai International Airport on Tuesday have been temporarily banned from domestic and international flights.

On Tuesday, Dao Vinh Thuan, 37, an inspector at Hanoi Department of Transport, and his friend Tran Duong Tung, 32, caused a scene after they missed their Vietnam Airlines flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

As Nguyen Le Quynh Anh, an employee of Vietnam Airlines who manages a service team at the airport, filmed the incident with her mobile phone, Thuan grabbed her shirt and Tung hit her on the head.

Tung has been banned by all carriers for the next 12 months while Thuan has been given a six-month ban, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon.

The administration has asked domestic and foreign carriers to fully implement the bans, which are effective from Friday.

Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed Hanoi's municipal government to investigate the incident and report back to him by the end of this month.

Thuan said he and his friend, Tung, showed up at Noi Bai at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday to check-in for a flight departing at 1:55 p.m. to Ho Chi Minh City the same day.

Airport staff at the check-in counter directed them to go to boarding gate number 5 but then other staff told them to queue at boarding gate number 3. The two passengers were informed they had missed their flight when they reached boarding gate number 3 at 1:45 p.m., Thuan said, adding that they returned to the check-in counter to demand an explanation.

Seeing that Quynh Anh, who was not wearing a uniform, was filming the exchanges between Thuan, Tung and airport staff, Thuan asked her to stop and delete the video clip. Thuan then grabbed her shirt after she refused to delete the clip and was about to run away, according to Thuan.

Thuan said he did not attack Quynh Anh and did not know that his friend had assaulted her.

Tung has admitted to hitting the woman. He said he lost his temper after they missed the flight and when Quynh Anh refused to remove the video clip.

Quynh Anh said she hid her mobile phone behind her back when the two passengers asked her to remove the video clip. The man in the white shirt (Thuan) grabbed her shirt and held her around the throat while the other in a black shirt (Tung) hit her on the head from behind, Quynh Anh said, adding that she is currently taking a rest at home.

In a statement released late on Wednesday, Vietnam Airlines said the two passengers had insulted and attacked a member of staff, and asked authorities to investigate the incident and punish the violent acts.

The carrier said Anh had been sent home after health checks at a local hospital.

Related news:

Passengers assault employee at Hanoi airport after missing flight

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