LONDON: A pilot for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), who was arrested at a British airport on suspicion of being drunk is due to appear at Leeds Magistrates Court today (Friday).
Captain Irfan Faiz, 54, faces the charges of carrying out an activity ancillary to an aviation function while impaired by drink.
The airline said the pilot had been immediately grounded and said that if he was convicted of any offence in Britain, he would be sacked.
The exact circumstances of his arrest on Wednesday evening at Leeds Bradford airport in northern England were not clear, although the pilot was not thought to be flying at the time.
“At about 10pm last night police were called to Leeds Bradford International Airport where they arrested an airline pilot on suspicion of carrying out an activity ancillary to an aviation function while impaired by drink,” police said.
“The 54-year-old man, from Pakistan, is currently in custody.”
The airport refused to comment beyond saying it was aware of the incident and it was being dealt with by police.
But a spokesman for PIA, Pakistan’s national carrier, told AFP: “We grounded the pilot, Irfan Faiz, immediately after receiving information about his arrest from Britain.
“The pilot will face legal proceedings in the UK and he will be sacked if convicted there.
“The PIA will not provide any legal assistance to Faiz and he will himself arrange such an assistance there.”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced plans earlier this month to sell off a 26 percent stake in the ailing national carrier, one of the poorest performing state-run companies in the country. (AFP)