Air India sacks pilot for boozy flight from Phuket

Photo courtesy of The Economic Times

Air India sacked a pilot caught flying under the influence of alcohol following a positive alcohol test conducted after operating a flight from Phuket to India.

The captain, who flew a Phuket-Delhi route last week, underwent a breathalyser (BA) test upon arrival in Delhi. In a bold move, Air India is set to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) against the errant pilot, firmly establishing their stance on the matter.

“While Air India’s official statement is pending, sources within the airline have expressed zero tolerance towards such misconduct.

“We have taken very strong action, not only terminating his service but also planning to file an FIR as operating a flight under the influence of alcohol is a criminal act. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been informed.”

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This incident sheds light on the vigilance required within the aviation industry. Unlike domestic flights where alcohol is strictly prohibited, international flights often offer alcoholic beverages, necessitating post-flight BA tests for flight crew.

Notably, statistics from the initial half of 2023 reveal a concerning trend, with 33 pilots and 97 cabin crew members failing BA tests, reported The Economic Times.

Consequences for failing such tests are severe, with a three-month license suspension for first-time offenders, escalating to a three-year suspension for subsequent violations, and license revocation upon a third offence.

In related news, come March 31, Thai Airways (THAI) will operate flights to Perth in Western Australia and Colombo in Sri Lanka.

In addition, THAI’s first flight to Southwest India’s Cochin Airport will take off on April 2. Chief Commercial Officer, Korakot Chatasingha promised a daily dose of connectivity between Bangkok and Perth, complementing the airline’s existing routes to Melbourne and Sydney.

In other news, India and Thailand penned a pivotal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on air services. The bilateral MoU will further enhance the capacities of airlines operating between the two countries, aiming at strengthening people-to-people and economic ties.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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