An Air India commander has been suspended after apparently showing up to work drunk, according to a Times of India report.
The report states the unidentified pilot had apparently pulled the same stunt in the past, and was the third time he failed a pre-flight breathalyser test.
An anonymous source told the paper since he had been reportedly found “heavily intoxicated”, Indian aviation authorities may have no option but to suspend his pilot licence for five years.
An Air India spokesperson told the Hindustan Times “The captain was not fit to fly. We arranged another pilot to operate the Sharajah-Cochin-Delhi flight. The pilot has been detained for questioning. He was smelling of liquor. An inquiry is on”.
According to an aviation expert quoted in the paper, India has somewhat more relaxed laws than other countries regarding pilot behaviour.
“Coming drunk to operate a flight should be made a criminal offence. It’s only in India that a pilot is let off multiple times after being caught drunk. In most Western countries, the crew is sent straight to jail after being caught drunk the very first time. Lives of hundreds of passengers are at stake if the person in command of the aircraft is drunk,” the paper reported.