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Aeroflot has reportedly ordered flight attendants not to record plane malfunctions before consulting pilot

Source: Meduza

In March 2022, shortly after Russia was hit with new sanctions in response to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the country’s largest commercial airline, Aeroflot, reportedly sent out an internal memo instructing senior flight attendants to record technical failures and cabin equipment malfunctions only after consulting the plane’s pilot.

The independent outlet Proekt has obtained a copy of the document and had its authenticity confirmed by multiple sources from Aeroflot. One source told journalists that while flight attendants were previously required to record all defects in the cabin in writing, they’re now only supposed to report them orally.

According to a former Aeroflot employee, the purpose of the rule change is to ensure that planes are not grounded due to malfunctions that are officially required to be fixed before a plane can take off. “Previously, before the war, the rule was strictly observed: we wrote down every little thing and fixed it all right then and there,” said the source.

The same practice has been implemented at Russia’s other airlines as well, according to a source from Aeroflot’s technical division.

Proekt also reported that the policy may apply to malfunctions that can threaten passenger safety. In 2022, for example, an Aeroflot plane flew from the UAE to Moscow without a full set of oxygen tanks after the pilot chose not to record the shortage in order to avoid delaying the plane’s departure, according to the outlet.

Sanctions imposed on Russia after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine prohibit supplying the country with planes and plane parts manufactured by American and European companies. Russian airlines have tried to combat the resulting shortage by purchasing spare parts from third countries and by reusing used parts from Russian planes.

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