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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Flydubai flight delayed as captain fails alcohol test

Suspicious colleague reported pilot on his arrival for work

A flydubai flight was delayed by almost 12 hours after its pilot failed an alcohol test. Natalie Naccache / Bloomberg
A flydubai flight was delayed by almost 12 hours after its pilot failed an alcohol test. Natalie Naccache / Bloomberg

A flydubai flight from Kathmandu to Dubai was delayed for 12 hours after the pilot failed an alcohol test.

A colleague reported the captain after suspecting the pilot was under the influence of alcohol on arrival for duty.

Flight FZ8018 was scheduled to depart for Dubai International Airport with 153 passengers at 9.50am on Sunday.

“We received a complaint from the airline’s crew. We conducted a preliminary alcohol test through a breathalyser,” said Raj Kumar Chettri, general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport.

“Medical tests were conducted and the captain of the flight tested positive for alcohol and was immediately grounded.”

He said Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and flydubai were immediately informed.

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A flydubai spokesman confirmed the incident and said that a colleague had raised the alarm.

The captain was "immediately deemed unfit to fly".

“Flydubai has a zero-tolerance policy on flight crew found to be in contravention of the regulations regarding alcohol consumption,” said the spokesman.

“In line with these stringent rules, we conduct random tests on our operational staff. We further insist that anyone suspected of consuming alcohol prior to flight duty must be tested.”

They said arrangements were made to enable the passengers to continue their journey to Dubai.

“We apologise for the delay to their travel plans but the safety of our passengers and crew remains our top priority,” he said.

Flight tracking website FlightStats.com said that FZ8018 eventually took off at 8.26pm, landing in Dubai at 11.21pm local time.