A Latvian pilot and three of his crew members were taken off a passenger plane after they failed a breathalyser test.
Passengers on the airBaltic flight to Greece were initially told that the pilot was unwell, but several of them didn’t buy that explanation.
And police received a tip-off from concerned passengers who suspected the flight crew might have had a few pre-drinks before take-off.
Thorleif Skovereng, Romerike Police District Operations Officer, said:
We got a tip that we should make a routine check and chose to do so. The alcohol test showed above 0.2 promiles, and was taken inside the plane.
The flight was due to depart from Oslo to Crete, but ended up being delayed for almost five hours while the airline swapped their tipsy crew for sober staff.
Janis Vanags, a spokesperson for the company, said they had a “zero tolerance” policy when it came to staff drinking alcohol.
Speaking to LSM, Vanags said:
Zero tolerance means no alcohol. It’s very straightforward – safety is our number one priority. There has been an initial test and that is being followed up with more detailed tests. When we have the results we will take appropriate action. I apologise to all customers who have been affected by this incident.
A statement later confirmed that the crew consisted of five people and only one of them didn’t fail the alcohol test, who we guess the others were hoping could be the designated driver for the flight.
If found guilty, the four Latvians could receive sentences of up to two years in prison.
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