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Flydubai flight delayed for over 10 hours after pilot fails alcohol test

Flydubai flight delayed for over 10 hours after pilot fails alcohol test

Passengers on the Dubai-bound flight were stranded in Kathmandu, Nepal on Sunday

A flight operated by Flydubai was delayed for more than 10 hours on Sunday at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal after the pilot failed an alcohol test.

Flight FZ8018, scheduled to take off at 9:50am for Dubai International Airport with 154 passengers onboard, was denied permission to fly after the pilot’s failed test.

“We received a complaint from the airline’s crew about the strange activities of the flying crew. We conducted a preliminary alcohol test through a breathalyzer,” Raj Kumar Chettri, general manager of the Tribhuvan International Airport told local daily The Kathmandu Post.

“Medical tests of both the flying crews were conducted and the flight captain tested positive and he was immediately grounded,” he said.

“Legal action will be initiated against the drunk crew members as per Dubai’s civil aviation law,” he added.

Flydubai confirmed the incident, with a spokesperson stating: “FlyDubai has a zero-tolerance policy on flight crew found to be in contravention of the regulations regarding alcohol consumption.

“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.

“In accordance with that standard, the crew member in question was immediately tested and discovered to have a blood alcohol level above the legally acceptable level and was therefore immediately deemed unfit to fly.”

Passengers were later accommodated on a flight with a different crew, which took off from Kathmandu at 8:26pm and landed in Dubai at 11:21pm.

A spokesperson for the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) told Reuters it was working with flydubai on the investigation.

Under UAE law any positive test for any crew member while on duty can result in them losing their licence permanently, the spokesperson said.

“The GCAA takes passengers safety and security very seriously thus enforce a zero tolerance policy for those exceeding the regulation on all UAE Airlines.”

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