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LONDON: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilot pleaded guilty on Friday to being drunk just before he was due to fly to Pakistan, court officials and media said.

Irfan Faiz, 54, was more than four times the legal alcohol limit when he was arrested in the cockpit of a plane at Leeds Bradford airport in northern England, according to media reports of a court hearing.

An official at Leeds Magistrates Court confirmed to AFP that Faiz, a Pakistani national, had pleaded guilty at the hearing and his case was referred to a higher court for sentencing on October 18.

He was arrested shortly after 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Wednesday and charged with “carrying out an activity ancillary to an aviation function while impaired by drink”, police said.

The court heard that Faiz had been unsteady on his feet before the flight and also smelled of alcohol, according to the BBC and local newspaper the Yorkshire Post.

A spokesman for PIA, Pakistan's national carrier, had told AFP on Thursday that if convicted, Faiz would be sacked.

Comments (40) Closed

Raja Sep 20, 2013 09:11pm

Wow,Very un-islamic behavior.

Julie Sep 20, 2013 09:27pm

Looks like the pilot was very irresponsible and went into the cockpit drunk. Being a Muslim, he should not be drinking at all. Four times over the legal limit. give me a break! He has brought disgrace to his country, family and also his religion.

Javed Ahmed Sep 20, 2013 09:39pm

Irfan Faiz is son of General Faiz Chisti, Ziaulhaq right hand man. He got his two sons inducted in PIA, when PIA had inducted 10 sons of Genral in a a batch specially created for them. most of them were only Matriculates and FA and if honestly selected none of them would qualify in basic IQ. The Pilot job in PIA is most lucrative and one needs to be rich, influential and or son of a General or son of Captain in PIA.

Qamar Sep 20, 2013 09:40pm

Wow.. great people to fly with!!!

Flying by PIA is not risking your life, but it is actually endangering your life.

Ali Sep 20, 2013 09:44pm

Why just sacked? Make an example out of him and put him behind bars for the rest of his life or just hang him. We dont need these kind of people in our society.

javed Sep 20, 2013 09:50pm

why he was allowed to go near aircraft in such condition

Muhammad Sep 20, 2013 10:00pm

This incident should serve as an eye opener to PIA and the Civil Aviation Authority in Pakistan. This pilot got caught in the UK and a major potential disaster averted. I wonder how many pilots fly out of Pakistani airports drunk. Is there any procedure in place at the Pakistani airports to catch such incidents ?

Gulbaz Mushtaq Sep 20, 2013 09:59pm


sami Sep 20, 2013 10:04pm

PIA....really the great people to fly with. Keep it up PIA

Khalid Sep 20, 2013 10:06pm

Whatever happened to "great people to fly with"....

Riaz Sep 20, 2013 10:14pm

A muslim caught under the influence of alcohol. Shame on him for deserting the name of our Country. He should definitely be sacked from the job, and be banned from flying for life! PIA should also impose a heavy fine on him, so that others learn from this incident. Risking 300+ passengers for pleasure of one is unacceptable!!

ebrahim Sep 20, 2013 10:18pm

He should be punished more severly when he returns to Pakistan

Hasnain Haque Sep 20, 2013 10:32pm

Yet another scandal Pakistan can be proud of. A day does not go by when there isn't a bad news about Pakistan.

Adam Sep 20, 2013 10:45pm

"A spokesman for PIA, Pakistan's national carrier, had told AFP on Thursday that if convicted, Faiz would be sacked."


Shaffiq Sep 20, 2013 11:30pm

If the flight was delayed due to this man, then passengers could be entitled to up to 600 euros compensation, under EU law. Get claiming !

SHB Sep 20, 2013 11:39pm

Please write down his full name. Heidi last name is chishti and he is son of General Chishti. This way people will know the back ground of this person.

Amir Bangash Sep 21, 2013 12:42am

The poor man carries a big plane all over form Pakistan to Britain,faces restrictions on drinks within the country and that is how he behaved like a thirsty crow.

Ijaz Sep 21, 2013 12:59am

His conduct especially at a time when certain amount of PIA's shares are bing private might adversely affect the value of each share..................need to be investigated by Pakistani concerned agencies.

Masoud Sep 21, 2013 01:00am

This pilot tried to play with the lives of several passenger. Whether convicted or not he should be sacked immediately, his flying licence should be revoked for life. This man may have been caught for the first time but must be continuing with this life threatening activity since long.

hamaz Sep 21, 2013 01:01am


Ahmer Sep 21, 2013 01:17am

Just image how many precious lives could have been lost if this pilot had not been caught before the take off. If there is one deserving of being charged for blasphemy. this man is.

Raazq Sep 21, 2013 02:29am

I am dying to hear a good news about PIA. I don't know if I would be lucky in this respect in my lifetime.

A shah Sep 21, 2013 02:37am

This is a conspiracy as Muslims do not drink so this man has been framed. This is the work of non state actors.

Nirmal Singh Sep 21, 2013 03:44am

Spokesman for PIA, says that "if convicted, Faiz would be sacked". Is just that the punishment for endangering the lives of hundreds of human beings in the aircraft? If that is the attitude of PIA, I will never never fly PIA. period.

Talha Sep 21, 2013 03:45am

May Allah amply reward the people who stopped him from flying the airplane and potentially saving the lives of the poor people on board.

"PIA - Great people to fly with".

This incident gives an all new meaning to PIA's slogan.

sajid Sep 21, 2013 04:11am

What a disgrace. At a time when muslims get a bad name for everything, we now get a muslim drunkard (I presume ). Sack him and lock him up for possibly causing a danger to many people and while they are at it, sack the thousands of excess staff working for PIA. Some possibly at home and still getting a wage. Stop all this and maybe the national carrier can make a profit again

A. Khan Sep 21, 2013 04:17am

"If convicted..." meaning that had he been in Pakistan, he would have been flying the next day.

K.A.Muhammad Sep 21, 2013 04:59am

"A spokesman for PIA, Pakistan's national carrier, had told AFP on Thursday that if convicted, Faiz would be sacked".

Of course he will be convicted, for he has pleaded guilty. He is being tried in United Kingdom.

"A spokesman for PIA, Pakistan's national carrier, had told AFP on Thursday that if convicted, Faiz would be sacked".

Besides being dishonest to himself, the spokesman is trying to be dishonest to his own countrymen. Mr. spokesman, had PIA strictly maintained such a standard, the incident reported would not have taken place in the first place.

However, could you establish with documentary evidence actions taken by the PIA's administration against Officials (not the helpless and innocent petty ones) having crossed the line of established Moral, Legal and Social norms?

PIA's downfall is attributed to lot many ills that are being deliberately ignored and avoided because of reasons best known to all concerned in PIA and Politics.

Imran Khalid Sep 21, 2013 05:20am

"A spokesman for PIA, Pakistan's national carrier, had told AFP on Thursday that if convicted, Faiz would be sacked."

You have to be joking. Why hasn't he been terminated yet. Tests were conducted by officials in the UK and he was found 4 times over the limit. "If convicted?" What does that even mean. This is a cut and dry case of risky behavior that would have put the lives of hundreds at stake. In fact, I am willing to bet that this wasn't the first time he was intoxicated while on duty. I will be interested in learning how he was outed. Furthermore, I will not be surprised if more such individuals exist in the PIA and are protected by their colleagues. The problem with officially dry countries such as ours is that any case involving the use and abuse of alcohol can go unnoticed because it goes counter to the "clean" image the government broadcasts to the world. I for one am that the dirty laundry is being aired. It means that precious lives were not lost because of one man's selfish indulgence.

sher Sep 21, 2013 05:53am

As if other misdeeds of the national carrier were not enough that we also have to read this shameful story.

Saeeda Haider Sep 21, 2013 04:04pm

He should be sacked anyway .Whoever brings disgrace to the homeland has no right to represent it

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE Sep 21, 2013 04:54pm

What Faiz is doing reflects on the complete break down of governance in PIA.

Rehan Sep 21, 2013 05:50pm

If convicted he will be sacked pia must think this is pakistani courts where no one gets convicted the guy was 5 times over the limit he was totally drunk this is state of our national airlines thanks to british police otherwise pia would have allowed this guy to fly

Shah Sep 22, 2013 04:54am

well Mr. Genius, you had to admit for 'flying high' cause booze smells from distance!! the irony is that our beloved airline have no measure in place to check the crew before they board on international routes.

khan khan Sep 22, 2013 08:26am

Thanks to British Police. They prevented a big disaster.

Azizullah Khan Sep 22, 2013 03:43pm

Please stop saying that Muslims can do no wrong. It is disgusting when you break every command of your religion but have the hide to put yourself above others. Just look around at all the Muslim countries & the atrocities committed in the name of religion.

Syed Ali Sep 23, 2013 02:56am

It'd be completely foolish on PIA's part to "wait' for the court's punishment! He should not only be summarily dismissed, but should be tried for his crimin al behavior and be given an exemplary punishment. Any and all benefits that he might have earned should also be cancelled. This is the least that PIA could do! But alas, being the son of a General, he probably would go scott free.This would be an ideal opportunity for Nawaz Sharif to give some exemplary punishment, so that it brings some shame to a General's family!!!

Syed Ali Sep 23, 2013 03:01am

@Azizullah Khan: My dear are right...but do you think these nincompoops, who have Muslim names, ONLY because they were born in a Muslim family, are Muslims in any shape or form? They are the black sheep in Pakistani nation, like hundreds of thousands of our so called "social elite". There should be a way to get rid of these kinds of "Muslims" once and for all! I'd start with the "Mullahs" who have done so much harm to our society, nation and country!

Mohammad Syed Husain Sep 23, 2013 04:48am

This is professional misconduct and religion may not be relevant. The airline spokesperson has already commented on this. I may add that this is not the first incident of such a nature in the UK. involving PIA. You may recall that some years back, a captain was actually promoted after such an incident and the matter settled out of court. He was reverted to fly B777 from B747, since those were not that hot to fly then. He was smart enough to run away from the scene.

a Sep 23, 2013 06:43pm

I am NEVER flying PIA, that's for sure. It if wasn't for the British authorities, who knows what disaster might have happened with this drunkard as the pilot. He should be sent to prison for endangering hundreds of passengers lives. I personally don't care about his own life.