‘Drunk’ PIA pilot denied bail, remanded to police custody in London

LONDON: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilot, who pleaded guilty on Friday to being drunk just before he was due to fly to Pakistan, was remanded to custody and will be produced in a higher court next month.

Irfan Faiz, 54, was more than four times the legal alcohol limit when he was arrested in the cockpit of a plane at Leeds Bradford airport in northern England, according to media reports of a court hearing.

An official at Leeds Magistrates Court confirmed that Faiz, a Pakistani national, had pleaded guilty at the hearing and his case was referred to Leeds Crown Court for sentencing on October 18.

The magistrates also denied bail to the pilot saying he (Faiz) had “breached the trust of the public” and the consequence of his recklessness could have been a serious loss of life.

He was arrested shortly after 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Wednesday and charged with “carrying out an activity ancillary to an aviation function while impaired by drink”, police said.

The court heard that Faiz had been unsteady on his feet before the flight and also smelled of alcohol, according to the BBC and local newspaper the Yorkshire Post.

A spokesman for PIA, Pakistan’s national carrier, Thursday said that if convicted, Faiz would be grounded for good. (AFP)