Vietnam opens probe after woman takes plane to Moscow despite flight ban

By Vi Vu   January 31, 2018 | 07:49 pm PT
Vietnam opens probe after woman takes plane to Moscow despite flight ban
Passengers wait for check-in at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
It’s not clear if she slipped through poor surveillance or received help.

Vietnam’s aviation authorities have opened an investigation into why a woman who was banned from flying was able to take a flight to Russia.

Pham Thu Thuy, 36, flew from Hanoi to Moscow with Aeroflot early last month despite being banned from flying until March.

Thuy was handed the ban after arguing with a passenger on a similar Aeroflot flight in August last year.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) had previously informed all airports and carriers operating in Vietnam, but security at Noi Bai Airport only realized she had slipped through on January 3.

To Tu Hung, a senior security officer at the CAAV, said Thuy is the first person to reportedly break a flight ban in Vietnam.

“The reason is still unclear. We have to wait for the investigation to conclude if it was due to neglect, poor surveillance or collusion,” Hung said, as cited by Tuoi Tre.

The Russian flag carrier has been asked to review its security checks and make necessary improvements.

Vietnam imposed a record 40 flight bans last year as the country’s air travel industry reached new heights.

Most passengers were punished for smoking, fighting or stealing on flights.

The country served more than 94 million air passengers in 2017, up 16 percent from a year ago, including 13 million foreigners.

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