Drunk ANA copilot brought back to Earth

All Nippon Airways said Friday it has stripped a copilot of his flight crew qualification for drinking alcohol before a Tokyo-bound flight from Vietnam last month and gave temporary pay cuts to its president and chairman over the matter.

According to ANA, the copilot was assigned to ground duties while President Yoji Ohashi and Chairman Kichisaburo Nomura were handed 20 percent salary reductions for three months.

In addition, Manabu Ouchi, executive managing director responsible for flight operations, was demoted to managing director.

“In order for this kind of incident never to reoccur for sure, we want to once again strictly ensure compliance with laws and regulations,” an ANA public relations official said.

On Sept. 13, the copilot of Flight 932, a Boeing 767, from Ho Chi Minh City to Narita airport, consumed alcohol six hours before departure in violation of a company regulation that forbids drinking by flight crew 12 hours before departure. Because no substitute copilot was available, the flight was delayed for six hours and 50 minutes until the copilot could qualify for the 12-hour rule.

On Monday, the carrier told the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry that it will begin mandatory preflight alcohol testing of all its cockpit crews later this month.