Aeroflot toughens penalties for unauthorised opening of aircraft emergency exits

aeroflot press-release

Aeroflot has strengthened the penalties for unauthorised opening of emergency exits on board its aircraft. This announcement is directed primarily at passengers seated in exit rows.

Aeroflot reminds all passengers that emergency exits should be opened only in an emergency that threatens the life and health of passengers in the cabin, and only following express instructions given by cabin crew. Passengers who open the exits without authorisation and ignore instructions given by cabin crew will be held liable under current civil or criminal legislation. Aeroflot will seek damages for any losses incurred as a result of damage to its aircraft and or delays to flights.

Seats in emergency exit rows should be occupied only by passengers whose mental and physical condition allows them to quickly understand orders given by members of cabin crew and/or take appropriate action in the event of an emergency. The company will closely monitor compliance with this requirement.

Passengers must make sure that they meet these criteria, including if they intend to make an additional payment to reserve a seat in the Space+ category next to an emergency exit.

Before take-off cabin crew instruct passengers sitting near emergency exits on the relevant procedures and crew orders that they should follow in the event of an emergency, as well as on how to open the emergency exits should the order be given to do so. Passengers seated near emergency exits are reminded of their role in ensuring the safety and security of all those on board the aircraft.

This additional information about Aeroflot’s rules regarding the opening of emergency exits follows an incident on board an Airbus A320, flight SU1182, which landed at Volgograd airport on 31 January 2018. Passengers were preparing to disembark when a passenger’s portable battery pack overheated, causing wisps of smoke to appear in the cabin. The crew acted in strict compliance with their standing orders, and thanks to their decisive action the ignition was quickly extinguished. An announcement was made explaining that the situation was under control and that there was no danger. However, several passengers ignored the senior flight attendant’s instructions to remain on board, opened the emergency exits and descended the escape slides to the ground. There could have been serious consequences for these passengers, but fortunately they were avoided.

Aeroflot’s requirements comply with international best practice including ICAO standards. These measures are designed to increase flight safety, which is always Aeroflot’s top priority.

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