HCM CITY (VNS)— Aviation authorities have suspended two Viet Nam Airlines pilots and a chief flight attendant for a month.
They were given punishment for allowing former Viet Nam Tourism Ambassador Ly Nha Ky into the cockpit while their aircraft was still in the sky to pose for photos with her.
Besides, Captain Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Y was fined VND7 million (US$330) and co-pilot Nguyen Xuan Hai, VND3 million ($140).
Lam Quang Tien, the chief attendant, was slapped a penalty of VND750,000 ($35).
The Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV) announced the penalties on Friday after questioning the four people involved.
The incident, which happened on an international flight last month, came to light after officials from the agency saw pictures of Ky and the crew on a Facebook page.
Actress, model, and businesswoman Ky, who has been embroiled in several scandals recently, was not punished. During her two years as tourism ambassador she became closely connected with Viet Nam Airlines and was impressed by its pilots, she said to explain her interaction with them on flight 595 from Hong Kong to HCM City.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper quoted Nguyen Trong Thang, chief inspector of the CAAV as saying the action seriously threatened the safety of the flight, especially since it had already reached cruising altitude. Allowing an unauthorised person into the cockpit during a flight is a violation of rules, and the case was especially serious because the person sat in the co-pilot's seat, he added.
But Ky was not to blame because she entered the cockpit only with permission from the crew, he said.
Many people believe the pilots and attendant got away too lightly. — VNS