January 16, 2019

Japan Airline Apologises For Flight Delay Caused By Drunk Pilot

02 November 2018, 07:00 | Austin Hogan

He was due to fly from Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda

JAL's airplane is seen at Haneda Airport in Tokyo Japan Feburuary 9 2018

He appeared in court in London on Thursday and pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol limit, according to the BBC.

After being arrested, he was required to undergo a blood test which revealed his alcohol level.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, Japan Airlines first officer, was arrested at Heathrow Airport, London, for being under the influence of alcohol.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, had nearly 10 times more than the legally permitted amount of alcohol in his bloodstream when he was arrested, CNN quoted the Metropolitan Police as saying on Thursday.

The drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg, compared to 20mg for pilots.

The flight departed after a 69-minute delay and was operated by the remaining two pilots. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 29 November at Isleworth Crown Court.

It apologised on Thursday for the incident.

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The case came to light a day after All Nippon Airways Co apologized for five flight delays in Okinawa last week because a pilot became unwell after a night of drinking.

In a statement JAL said: "The Company does not condone the individual's actions, as safety remains our utmost priority".

Under its internal rules, JAL limits two-pilot flights to routes of up to 12 hours. The pilot was reported to have called in work sick after a night of drinking on the remote island of Ishigaki.

Singapore Airlines also hit the news after one of its pilots failed a blood alcohol test in Melbourne and prompted the cancellation of two flights.

The last-minute sickie forced the airline to delay five flights linking Okinawa island and smaller regional islands, affecting 619 passengers.

JAL executives told reporters that Jitsukawa cleared an in-house breath test but aroused the suspicion of a bus driver taking him to the plane from Heathrow airport on Sunday.

"Although we conduct regular or unannounced safety inspections for airlines, detailed drinking regulations are left to the discretion of each company", said an official at the transport ministry's aviation safety and security department.

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