Flight Director Of Russia’s S7 Taken To Court For Selling A320neo Pilot Jobs
The director and his colleague have been under house arrest since this summer, and the mother of one of the pilot candidates is also facing charges.
Earlier this week, the Prosecutor’s Office of Moscow announced it had initiated court proceedings against the former flight director of privately owned S7 Airlines, Mansur Badrakov. Mr Badrakov stands accused of having taken bribes in the amount of 1.5 million rubles (approximately $21, 860) to facilitate the employment of a pilot for the first Airbus A320neo in Russia.
The flight director is not the only one to stand accused in the Domodedovo City Court. The airline’s deputy general director, as well as the lead pilot instructor, are also charged with taking money to approve the candidacy of two pilots. In addition to the 1.5 million rubles, the bribes included another 350,000 ($5,090). If convicted on the charges of commercial bribery, they face between seven and 12 years in prison.
As explained on the Telegram channel of the Prosecutor’s Office, the additional amount of 350,000 rubles was transferred from the bank account of the mother of one of the candidate’s mother to Mr Badrakov for further transfer to officials of the Central Medical and Flight Expert Commission of Civil Aviation, in order to obtain a medical certificate. The mother is also facing criminal charges.
The accused are under house arrest and no longer employed by the airline
The alleged bribery was first discovered last summer when investigators and the Federal Security Service (FSB) apprehended Badrakov and his deputy Boris Kamyshev in the Moscow region. None of the defendants are currently employed by S7. As the airline shared in a statement to the Russian news agency TASS earlier this week,
“Since the beginning of the investigation, Boris Kamyshev has been removed from his post as deputy general director for flight operations. Since July 2022, he has been suspended from work, as he is under house arrest and is awaiting a court decision. Mansur Badrakov has been removed from his post as flight director and suspended from work since June 2022 and is under house arrest.”
S7 first A320neo operator in Russia
According to data from ch-aviation, S7 has a fleet of 31 A320neo and four A321neo aircraft. While there is no information on exactly when the alleged bribery took place, S7 received its first A320neo in July 2017, as the first operator of the type in Russia. The planes seat eight passengers in business class and 158 in economy. Furthermore, the airline was expected to keep on ordering dozens more of the jet, but then, geopolitics and the Kremlin had other plans.
Last week, S7 reported that its traffic numbers for 2022 totaled just over 16 million people. This was down by 10% compared to 2021. While much of the international market became off-limits, Turkey, Thailand and countries in Central Asia became the main destinations for the carrier’s international flights, carrying over one million passengers. The all-narrowbody carrier resumed flights to Bangkok from its base in Irkutsk using its Boeing 737-800 for a journey of just over six hours.
Source: Prosecutor’s Office of Moscow, TASS, The Moscow Times
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Moscow Domodedovo Airport
- Year Founded:
- Vadim Klebanov
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