The FINANCIAL -- On February 18, Gagarin District Court ruled in favor of Aeroflot in its suit against Andrei Krivoruchko, the passenger whose actions on board had led to an emergency landing. The defendant will have to pay 704,199.70 rubles (over $19,500) in total, including compensation for the losses borne by Aeroflot, according to Aeroflot.
The incident happened on April 22, 2013 during an SU206 flight from Moscow to Shanghai. As stated by the court, intoxicated Mr Krivoruchko behaved inappropriately and expressed an obvious disrespect for other passengers and the crew. He also threatened them with violence, physically resisted the crew members and did not comply with a written warning of the aircraft commander to stop violating the rules of onboard behavior.
As a result, the captain was forced to opt for an emergency landing at Novosibirsk airport. The unruly passenger was handed over to local authorities. Aeroflot filed a lawsuit on this issue in October 2013 and won the case.
However satisfactory for Aeroflot this adjudication is, it still cannot be considered too stringent by the standards of many other countries in Europe, Asia and America, where airborne drunken brawls are criminalized and a refusal to obey calls to order, acts of violence or attacks on members of the crew are punished with imprisonment from a few months up to 20 years. In some cases, jail term can be given even for smoking on board.
Since the beginning of 2013, Aeroflot sees a positive trend of hardening position of the Russian courts against airborne rowdies, including the area of financial responsibility for detrimental actions against the airline and other passengers. Nevertheless, the need of even more drastic measures against disruptive passengers is evident. Aeroflot stands firm on this issue and confirms its resolution not to leave violating the rules of onboard behavior without serious consequences, according to Aeroflot.