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Airlines

Russia's top budget airline sacks executive over phallic flight stunt - source

MOSCOW, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Russia’s top budget airline has sacked one of its deputy heads and formally reprimanded its director after one of its passenger planes traced a phallic-like route in the sky during a commercial flight, an industry source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Aeroflot’s low-cost airline Pobeda came under scrutiny when one of its Moscow-Yekaterinburg flights veered from its path on Nov. 11 for what an official report said were irregular manoeuvres with 102 passengers on board.

Russian media cast the phallic-like route as a show of public support for soccer star Artyom Dzyuba who had been dropped from the Russian national team after the leak of a private, intimate video featuring a man similar to him.

Pobeda’s board reprimanded General Director Andrey Kalmykov and sacked one of his deputies at a meeting on Tuesday over the incident, a source told Reuters. The RBC media outlet, citing its own source, reported the same details.

Aeroflot confirmed Pobeda had held a board meeting, but declined to comment further. Both Pobeda and the national Rosaviatsia authority declined to comment.

The aviation authority last month recommended Kalmykov be sacked over the incident in an internal report that was leaked on social media and confirmed to Reuters by a source. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by William Maclean)

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