Drunk Japanese pilot delays five flights, says airline

He was due to fly from Osaka to Miyazaki 

Cathy Adams
Thursday 03 January 2019 18:43 GMT
An ANA crew member tested positive for alcohol before he was due to fly
An ANA crew member tested positive for alcohol before he was due to fly (iStock)

A Japanese pilot delayed five flights when he was found to be over the limit before boarding, All Nippon Airways (ANA) said today.

The captain was due to serve domestic flight NH 501 from Osaka Itami in central Japan to Miyazaki, a city on the southern island of Kyushu.

During a pre-boarding inspection, the crew member of ANA Wings, an affiliate airline of ANA, tested positively for alcohol.

As a result, the airline had to switch crew, which delayed five flights in total.

The crew member admitted that he drank alcohol with his co-pilot at the hotel where they were staying, according to local newspaper The Mainichi, but claimed he hadn’t had a drink in the 12 hours before the departure time.

The existing regulations state that ANA crew cannot drink in the 12 hours before a flight.

In November, the airline introduced guidelines surrounding alcohol consumption, saying that two units could be consumed before the 12-hour curfew, and that all crew would receive portable breathalysers to check their alcohol levels before a flight. Additionally, advanced breathalysers would be introduced at ANA hubs across the world.

The airline said that it took this event “seriously”, and that it would implement measures to stop it happening again.

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In November, a Japanese pilot for Japan Airlines admitted to being almost 10 times over the alcohol limit shortly before a flight from Heathrow. He was subsequently jailed.

In December, Japan Airlines said that a long-serving cabin crew member failed two breathalyser tests on a flight from Tokyo to Hawaii. She was found to have drunk a mini bottle of champagne that was supposed to be for premium economy passengers.

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