Airline Suspends Pilots Charged With Being Drunk

22 July 2016, 14:27 | Updated: 22 July 2016, 14:29

Glasgow Airport

Two Canadian pilots held in custody after being charged with being drunk as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto have been suspended by their airline.

Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were arrested before they were due to take off on the Air Transat flight from Glasgow Airport on Monday afternoon.

They were remanded in custody after a private appearance at Paisley Sheriff Court on Tuesday, where they were charged with being under the influence of alcohol and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Air Transat said it is carrying out its own internal investigation and has suspended the pilots.

A statement said: ''The issue of the July 18 arrest of two Air Transat pilots in Glasgow is a complex one and because the matter is the subject of judicial proceedings in Scotland the airline will not comment at this point.

''Both pilots, who are personally facing charges, have received an administrative suspension for the duration of the carrier's internal investigation.''

The delayed Airbus flight to Toronto set almost 24 hours late, with about 250 passengers having spent Monday night at nearby hotels.

Air Transat president Jean-Francois Lemay also confirmed passengers will be compensated ''pursuant to the applicable European regulations''.

That means passengers are entitled to just over #500 under EU rules because of the distance of the flight and length of the delay.

Mr Lemay said: ''Canadian and European rules and regulations that we are subject to regarding alcohol consumption are very strict.

''Our own internal rules are even more stringent and we do not tolerate any failure to comply.

''We have always taken, and we will continue to take, all necessary measures to ensure those rules are followed to the letter and we are counting on the flawless co-operation of all our personnel in that respect.''

Air Transat had earlier apologised to those affected by the delay and offered passengers compensation as a ''goodwill gesture''.

Perreault and Syed are expected to return to court in Scotland next week.