Jitsukawa was apprehended as a crew bus driver caught alcohol smells and informed the police.
The co-pilot faces charges in Britain over the offence. Alcohol-affected pilots make headlines but are the exceptions rather than the rule. He pleaded guilty to the offence at the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court. He is currently in custody and will be sentenced on November 29 at the Isleworth Crown Court.
The airline has apologised for the breach and admitted that an in-house breath test was not conducted properly.
“The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee’s actions,” Japan Airlines said in a press release.
The airline said the pilot drank two bottles of wine and five cans of beer for six hours from 6 pm the night before the flight to Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
The plane departed London after a delay of 69 minutes and had to proceed with two pilots instead of the usual three.
– All Nippon Airways Co. apologised for five flight delays in Okinawa last week because a pilot became unwell after a night of drinking.
– A Japan Airlines flight attendant was caught sneaking a beer into a plane rest room and drinking it there in mid-flight.
Japan’s Transport Ministry on Thursday issued a document directing all Japanese airlines to report by month-end measures being taken to control drinking by flight staff.