March 23, 2019
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Excess alcohol levels detected in Japan pilot ahead of flight

Tokyo, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- A fresh case has emerged of a Japanese airline pilot having excessive levels of alcohol in his system before flying, Japanese media reported Saturday.

The pilot in his 40s works for Air Japan, part of the ANA group, and his flight was scheduled to take off early Friday, according to information released by the company and published by local media.

During the preflight check, the pilot - who was not identified - was found to have alcohol levels 6.6 times over the permissible limits under aviation laws for an on-duty pilot, state broadcaster NHK reported Friday.

He was replaced by another pilot for the flight, which was delayed.

According to the airline, the pilot admitted to having consumed about four liters of beer and 720 milliliters of wine at his home from Wednesday to Thursday morning. The flight was due to depart in the early hours of Friday.

ANA, one of Japan's busiest airlines, has banned its pilots from consuming alcohol 12 hours prior to take-off.

In recent months, several incidents of this nature have affected Japanese airline companies.

Last month, two other pilots of the ANA group were replaced after having tested positive for alcohol.

The group said it is taking the frequent alcohol-related issues seriously and would work towards regaining the trust of its clients.

In November last year, Japan Airlines (JAL) announced the dismissal of a pilot who was arrested in London for exceeding the permissible level of alcohol, and cut the salaries of two of its most important executives.

The decisions were taken after Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, 42, was sentenced in London to 10 months in prison after admitting that he had consumed large quantities of alcohol the night before a flight between London and Tokyo on Oct. 28.

A blood test found that Jitsukawa was almost 10 times over the legal alcohol limit. The night before, he had reportedly consumed two bottles of wine and 1.8 liters of beer.

JAL, Japan's second largest airline, now bans its pilots from consuming alcohol 24 hours before a flight.

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