MOSKOU – Rokende passagiers van de Russische luchtvaartmaatschappij Aeroflot kunnen weer opgelucht een sigaretje roken aan boord van een van de toestellen. Na overleg met Amerikaanse ervoersorganisaties
werd een compromis bereikt over het aantal rokers per vlucht.
Aeroflot mag 16 procent van de Economy Class en 40 procent van de Business Class reserveren voor rokers. (Reuters)
Bron: De Telegraaf
MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia’s Aeroflot Airlines has declared a victory for smokers’ rights, overturning a U.S. ban on smoking aboard aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Aeroflot, the flagship airline of a country with one of the highest rates of tobacco use in the world, said it had reached a compromise over a ban that it saw as an infringement of national sovereignty.
“I think that this is a fair compromise and is in the best interestsnot only of our own smokers, but of those from other countries who fly on our airline because we allow them the option of smoking,” the spokeswoman said.
The deal, reached after a month of negotiations with U.S. transportation officials, allows Aeroflot to reserve up to 16 percent of economy class seats and 40 percent of business class for smokers.
There are no limits on smoking in first-class or in the pilots’ cabin, but the U.S. transportation department will require the airline to notify passengers when they purchase their tickets that smoking will be allowed on the aircraft.
Some 3 billion packets of cigarettes are sold annually to Russia’s population of 145 million.
More than 50 percent of Russian men and 25 percent of women smoke, according to the health ministry.
Aeroflot, one of the few major international airlines to maintain smoking zones, operates flights to several U.S. destinations. The airline complains that most of its U.S. routes turn no profit.
Its cigarette-friendly policy has helped it to keep Russian smokers from choosing Western carriers, and has even lured some non-Russians to its long-haul flights
Aeroflot last year banned smoking on flights under two hours as part of an effort to bring it up to the standards of major world carriers.