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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
'Reverse air-rage' on Russian jet
Aeroflot Ilyushin aircraft
Aeroflot says it had hired a plane and crew for the flight
Two flight attendants have attacked a passenger in an unprecedented case of reverse air-rage, according to Russia's leading airline.

An Aeroflot spokeswoman said the incident occurred after the passenger, named as Artyom Chernopup, said the men were drunk and not doing their job.

Russian media said the alleged victim left the plane with a black eye and reported the incident to the police.

Aeroflot said the crew and plane were contracted out from another company.

Only about half the meals ended up on the tables or in the laps of passengers, the rest ended up on the floor - we left the plane with lunch-boxes crunching beneath our feet
Plane passenger
Spokeswoman Irina Dannenberg said the entire crew of the flight - from Moscow to the Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk - had been suspended while the incident was investigated.

She said Aeroflot did not have enough aircraft and leased planes together with their crews from other companies.

The airline was now tightening controls over contracted staff, she added.

A Nizhnevartovsk airport representative told Izvestiya newspaper that a medical examination after the flight showed the cabin attendants were heavily intoxicated.

Another passenger told a forum on the avia.ru civil aviation website that the stewards distributed in-flight meals only when the plane started its descent, and managed to spill large quantities of food on the floor.

"At this point I noticed something was wrong," the passenger said. "Only about half the meals ended up on the tables or in the laps of passengers, the rest ended up on the floor.

"We left the plane with lunch-boxes crunching beneath our feet."

Correspondents say intoxicated passengers are common on Russian flights, but this incident was unprecedented.

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