The pilot did not pass the test by having a “higher than appropriate blood alcohol limit,” the airline said.
A Singapore Airlines pilot has been suspended by his employer after failing a random breathalyzer test before captaining a transcontinental flight from Melbourne, Australia, to Wellington, England.
Although the flight was soon canceled, a frustrated passenger claims that the airline staff in the first instance, has told that on board of a “clear lie” that the termination of the trip occurred because the pilot was “under the weather.”
On Sept. 15, members of the crew on board the Singapore Airlines flight SQ247 were asked to the random drug and alcohol test by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority for the take-off around 7 o’clock in the morning, Channel News Asia reported.
“The pilot in question was and is suspended from all duties effective immediately.”
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The unnamed man kite “failed the test by having a higher than appropriate blood alcohol limit,” a rep for the airline confirmed to Fox News.
The spokesman confirmed that the flight SQ247 and the return flight SQ248 were indeed cancelled as “a working member of the crew was deemed unfit to fly.”
“Civil Aviation Safety Authority officials have a random drug and alcohol testing of all crew for them the beginning of their pre-flight checks,” the rep said. “The pilot in question has not passed the test by having a higher than appropriate blood alcohol limit. The pilot in question was and is suspended from all duties effective immediately.”
“He has returned to Singapore, where a full investigation will be carried out,” she added. “We also work closely with the Australian and Singaporean authorities to ensure that they are provided the information they need.”
“We sincerely apologize to those affected by the cancellation of these flights. However, the safety of our customers and crew is our highest priority.”
The identity of the pilot has not been disclosed.
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Meanwhile, a disgruntled passenger said he gets irritated with Singapore Airlines for initially telling passengers to “clear down” why the flight was cancelled.
A traveler named Muteki told News.com.au that the passengers were waiting to board when the airline staff announced that there is a problem.
“My impression was that they were sick. Then 15 minutes later, he said, was the captain. The communication was that the pilot was “sick” or “not in the condition to fly,” Muteki said.
“Later, when I spoke with the crew, they told me that the pilot had eaten something bad. That was a clear lie.”
According to the outlet, the passengers were then moved to different flights to reach Wellington.
@SingaporeAir care to try to explain why your captain (ie most experienced person on the plane) of SQ247 wait until boarding time to decide they are too sick/drunk to fly? Will miss the 1st #allblacks #rugby match I bought tickets and flew back to WLG from NRT to see? #sad
— Muteki iikun (@M_iikun) September 15, 2018
@SingaporeAir terrible service on your cancelled Melbourne to Wellington flight this morning. No options given to stranded customers except to make phone calls to your useless book! Hotel rates and taxi fares all the lost and not to mention a day of the holiday. Terrible service
— Rachel (@racheleelene) September 15, 2018
@SingaporeAir probably my most frustrating experience in a vliegveld..net to the left of the Melbourne airport after 6 hours of waiting. Let’s take a look at how the claims service works…low expectations but..#sq247
— Jorge Gil (@_gil_87) September 15, 2018
Many of the affected passengers took to Twitter to voice their grievances, which the overall experience with Singapore Airlines as “horrible” and “terrible.”
Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter via @JaninePuhak