Aeroflot confirmed to RT that UK police and customs services performed a search aboard its Airbus A321 aircraft after it landed in the British capital on Thursday. The carrier expressed “bewilderment” that there was no reason or justification provided for the search. Moreover, UK authorities forced the crew out of the plane and isolated the captain in the cabin.
“Such actions by the UK representatives contradict the international practice of performing such inspections,” Aeroflot pointed out, adding that it is ready to cooperate with Britain if it justifies and explains its actions.
The chairman of the Russian State Duma’s Transport Committee, Vitaly Yefimov, also called the actions of British authorities “illegal” and said they violated international regulations.
“The board of the airplane is the territory of Russia, just like its embassy,” Yefimov told Tass. “It is a precedent… It’s the first time on my memory when the authorities go in and inspected an aircraft with no justification. They have no right to do it.”
An inspection of a plane can only be carried out in agreement with the crew, the MP stressed, adding that he’s waiting for official explanations from the British.
The Russian aviation security center will send a request to the UK authorities regarding searches of the Aeroflot plane in London, the Russian Transport Ministry said in a statement. In the event that the British side fails to provide any explanations, Moscow “will regard these actions against our plane as illegal, and will consider similar measures against British aircraft,” it added.