MOSCOW, December 6 - RAPSI. The Moscow District Federal Commercial Court has upheld the dismissal of Aeroflot's defamation lawsuit against Izvestia news, the court spokesperson told RAPSI on Thursday.

The lawsuit centers on an article published by Izvestia in February, which alleges that Aeroflot pilots fall asleep on the job because they are forced to work long hours. The plaintiff demanded that the paper retract the allegation and pay 5 million rubles ($162,213) in moral damages.

The Moscow Commercial Court held against Aeroflot's claims in June.

Judge Nikolai Tarasov stated in the ruling that the plaintiff failed to produce substantial evidence that the statements made in the article's headline and text were inaccurate.

The appeals court then upheld the decision in September.

Izvestia does not recognize the claims. The paper's lawyer said in court that the article did not state that the company broke the law. Although the article mentioned the word "Aeroflot," 83 other companies use the same word in their name, he said. Thus, Izvestia claimed, the plaintiff needed to prove that the article was referring specifically to the airline.

Izvestia also said Aeroflot asked to have the article refuted in court, without specifying which statements it considers defamatory, although the material that it provided included historical facts, data regarding other companies, and an official comment from Aeroflot.

The airline previously urged all media not to retransmit the information published by Izvestia.

The Moscow Commercial Court also dismissed Aeroflot's defamation lawsuit against Sheremetyevo Airport Trade Union President Igor Deldyuzhov, whose comments were published in the article.

Aeroflot is a member of the SkyTeam air alliance. It is based at the Sheremetyevo International Airport. The Federal Agency for State Property Management is Aeroflot's primary shareholder, holding a 51.17 percent stake in the company. Aeroflot flies to 898 destinations in 169 countries.