Drunk pilot scandal prompts Japan Airlines subsidiaries to impose a 24-hour preflight drinking ban

  • The measures, instigated after a raft of reports of drunkenness among pilots, are provisional and it is unclear if they will be made permanent
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 November, 2018, 10:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 12:25am

Japan Airlines’ group units have followed their parent company in extending their alcohol bans for pilots to 24 hours before flights, in the wake of a series of drinking incidents, company officials said on Thursday.

The measures are provisional and JAL and the five other group companies that operate passenger jets will consider whether to make them permanent, they said.

JAL had previously prohibited its pilots from drinking alcohol within 12 hours of a flight, but after one of its co-pilots was arrested by British police following a heavy drinking session the night before a London-Tokyo flight on October 28, JAL and J-Air Corp ordered their pilots not to drink 24 hours before starting work.

Japan Air Commuter Co, Japan Transocean Air Co and Ryukyu Air Commuter Co did not change their rules immediately after the arrest, but they apparently felt the need to impose tougher measures after a JAC pilot was found on Wednesday to have delayed the departure of a domestic flight because of preflight drinking.

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The remaining group company, Hokkaido Air System Co., had an eight-hour ban, but it has also expanded it to 24 hours.

The Japanese airline industry has been under scrutiny following a series of drinking incidents at JAL and the other main carrier All Nippon Airways Co.