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PIA pilot stopped from operating flight due to intoxication

Updated March 22, 2019

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PIA spokesperson says the airline has taken serious notice against the captain who was under the influence of alcohol.— Reuters/File
PIA spokesperson says the airline has taken serious notice against the captain who was under the influence of alcohol.— Reuters/File

RAWALPINDI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilot was stopped from operating a flight to Birmingham, United Kingdom, on Thursday after he was found to be under the influence of alcohol.

A source said the pilot was stopped before PIA flight PK-785 could take off because he failed a breath analyser test. The flight, which was scheduled to leave Islamabad International Airport (IIA) at 11:30am, was delayed.

PIA spokesperson Mashud Tajwar said the case was reported to the authorities as food poisoning, but he acknowledged that the airline had taken serious notice upon being informed that a captain was under the influence of alcohol at IIA.

A statement issued by PIA management said the administration has taken notice upon receiving information that one of its captains tested positive for alcohol in a medical check-up at IIA before operating an Islamabad-Birmingham flight.

The PIA spokesperson said the pilot was grounded immediately and an inquiry has been ordered. He said that upon the receipt of details of the medical report, action would be taken.

He said: “If the allegations are proved by the concerned authorities, strict action would be taken against the pilot and he may be dismissed from service.”

According to airline and aircraft rules, crew members are not allowed to consume alcohol 12 hours before the commencement of a flight. The PIA spokesperson did not divulge the name and details of the pilot.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2019