The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Tuesday relieved Captain Arvind Kathpalia from the post of director of operations of Air India, a day after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspended his flying licence for three years for failing an alcohol test. The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association had earlier on Tuesday demanded that Kathpalia be sacked immediately, for being a “repeat offender”, NDTV reported.
Captain Amitabh Singh will take additional charge as director of operations of Air India, Times Now reported.
The airline had grounded Kathpalia on Sunday following the breathalyser tests he took before he was to operate the Delhi-London flight AI 111. All pilots are required to undergo an alcohol test before their flights and are not allowed to consume alcohol up to 12 hours before their departure time.
Kathpalia had been suspended before in 2017, for three months, after skipping a breathalyser test. He was then Air India’s executive director of operations. Kathpalia was removed from the post but was later appointed the director of operations for five years.