Air India Captain AK Kathpalia on Sunday was grounded after failing his breathalyser test twice, ANI reported. The agency quoted the airline’s chief of flight safety confirming that Kathpalia, who is reportedly the director of operations, was grounded.
According to reports, Kathpalia had been suspended once before, for three months in 2017, after skipping his breathalyser test. He was scheduled to operate the Delhi-London flight AI 111 on Sunday. It is mandatory for all pilots to undergo an alcohol test before their flights. Pilots are not allowed to consume any alcohol upto 12 hours before their departure time, according to PTI.
“He was given another chance, but the second test was also found positive following which he was grounded,” an airline official told PTI.
When he was suspended in 2017, Kathpalia had been Air India’s executive director, operations, the report said. He was removed from the post but later appointed director, operations, for five years.
The Indian Commercial Pilots Association wrote to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, asking it to take action against Kathpalia, ANI reported.