LONDON: A pilot believed to be working for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been arrested at a British airport on suspicion of being drunk in charge of a plane, police said on Thursday.
Officers were called on Wednesday evening to the airport serving the northern English cities of Leeds and Bradford where they arrested a 54-year-old man from Pakistan, a statement from West Yorkshire Police said.
The exact circumstances of the arrest were not entirely clear, although the pilot was not thought to be flying at the time.
“At about 10pm last night police were called to Leeds Bradford International Airport where they arrested an airline pilot on suspicion of carrying out an activity ancillary to an aviation function while impaired by drink,” police said.
“The 54-year-old man, from Pakistan, is currently in custody.”
PIA has immediately grounded and suspended one of its pilots upon violation of rules, a PIA Spokesperson said.
In a statement issued, he said the pilot was the captain of PK-776 from Leeds-Bradford to Islamabad.
"Due to unavailability of any alternate, the captain of the flight had to make a night stop at Leeds. Later, the flight departed with a delay of 15 hours."
He said the pilot is still in custody of British Police for further investigation.
Referring to another incident of indecent behavior by three flight stewards in Manchester, the spokesperson said that the management has also suspended them.
They were taken into custody by Manchester Police on complaint made by a British lady. The investigation is still in process.
The spokesperson said that PIA is not responsible for violation of rules or code of conduct committed by its employees.
"PIA will never provide legal or any kind of assistance nor support for individual's act of violation.
"Upon receipt of final report the violators will face further severe action according to rules of corporation," he concluded.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced plans earlier this month to sell off a 26 per cent stake in the ailing national carrier, one of the poorest performing state-run companies in the country.