Behaving badly: Russian, Czech junior hockey teams kicked off Air Canada flight

John Taggart / Wikipedia

An Air Canada (ADH2) flight from Calgary (YYC) to Frankfurt (FRA) was held up for two hours on New Year’s Eve due to the unruly behavior of some hockey players. 

The Air Canada Boeing 787-9 was scheduled to depart YYC at 17:45, December 31, 2021 MST (00:45 UTC, January 1, 2022). Among the passengers  were several hockey teams , who had been due to play in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. As the Championship was cancelled due to COVID-19, the teams were returning back to Europe. 

However, as the flight was preparing to take off, the Russian hockey team reportedly started misbehaving. According to  other passengers, they were trying to smoke cigarettes, refusing to wear masks and playing loud music.  

The Calgary Herald reports that the police were called, and the whole flight was deplaned. According to Radarbox data, the aircraft finally took off at 19:48 MST (2:48 GMT). 

However, two teams were prevented from boarding.  Along with the Russians, the players from Czechia were also not allowed to take the flight. 

DW reports that, according to Czech team manager Otakar Cerny, his team was not misbehaving, but because theirsweatshirts were similar to those of the Russian players,  they were thrown  “into the same bag as Russians”. 

However, Cerny said that Air Canada (ADH2) representatives later apologized for the mix-up, and arranged a hotel and a flight to Frankfurt at the company’s expense. 

According to CBC, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has opened an investigation into the incident to determine if the Russian team  violated the federation’s ethics code. 

author avatar
Valius Venckunas
Journalist[br][br]Valius is a member of AeroTime’s editorial team, based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Before joining in 2020, he spent half-a-decade doing academic work in the field of political communication. Armed with this experience, he strives to bring scientific rigor into his work, focusing on defense, history and analysis.
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