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Airline Bans Gum Because Each Piece Costs Them $1,750 to Remove

For one budget Russian carrier, an unusual ban on chewing gum means victory over costly cleaning bills.

Gum-chewing passengers on Russian airline Pobeda may now find themselves in a sticky situation. The airline, a budget subsidiary of Aeroflot, has banned passengers from chewing gum on its flights, claiming that it costs thousands of dollars just to remove discarded wads of the substance from the cabins of its planes.

Pobeda’s press secretary Yelena Selivanova confirmed the policy to The Moscow Times, saying, “The ban on chewing gum use has been in place since the middle of June and is connected to losses sustained by the airline.”

Pobeda CEO Andrei Kalmikov also explained to that, prior to the ban, the carrier would “spend up to 100,000 rubles (about $1,750) in order to peel off one piece of gum and return the equipment to a normal state.”

Although the ban has been in place for nearly a month, it is unclear exactly how it will be enforced. While Pobeda is the first airline to enact this type of ban, some cities around the world – most notably Singapore – have heavy restrictions on the disposal of chewing gum.

A relatively new carrier, Pobeda recently celebrated serving its millionth passenger. The budget airline was originally launched as Dobrolet back in October 2013. Shortly after its debut, however, the European firms Dobrolet leased its planes from pulled their contracts and service was grounded.

Stepping into the void left by Dobrolet, Pobeda — the Russian word for “victory” — made its official debut in December 2014. Based at Vnukovo International Airport (VKO), Pobeda operates flights from Moscow to 17 cities across Russia.

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
weero July 20, 2015

Maybe someone should tell them that ripping out the seat and plugging in a new one is not the only way getting the chewing gum off the plane. Or they could do it like the US 3 - just leave the chewing gum bits in ....

bryanb July 16, 2015

To be fair, the actual quote is "up to 100,000 rubles" which makes the headline (and possibly the statement) misleading. I could imagine a rare situation in which a terribly stuck piece of gum requires extensive cleaning of a seat, takes equipment out of service, and all sorts of complications. But to say "each piece cost them $1,750 to remove" is probably clickbait and is not great journalism.

djs July 16, 2015

How does one get a job removing gum? I'd be willing to do it for $750 per piece. Savings would be in the millions.