Wednesday 12 December 2018

Japanese airline bosses take pay cut after pilot caught 10 times over alcohol limit

Undated handout CCTV image issued by Metropolitan Police of Japanese pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa being arrested after failing a breath test just 50 minutes before Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL44 to Tokyo was due to take off with him in the cockpit as he has been jailed for 10 months at Isleworth Crown Court in London today. Photo: PA
Undated handout CCTV image issued by Metropolitan Police of Japanese pilot Katsutoshi Jitsukawa being arrested after failing a breath test just 50 minutes before Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL44 to Tokyo was due to take off with him in the cockpit as he has been jailed for 10 months at Isleworth Crown Court in London today. Photo: PA

Sam Blewett

The jailing of a Japanese pilot for being more than 10 times over the alcohol limit as he prepared to fly a passenger jet from Heathrow has hit airline bosses in their pockets.

Japan Airlines president Yuji Akasaka will take a 20pc reduction for three months, after the "very intoxicated" first officer Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was sentenced on Thursday.

A senior managing executive officer, Toshinori Shin, will see his pay packet cut by 10pc over the same period from December, the airline said.

The 42-year-old pilot was caught by security staff smelling of alcohol and acting drunk as he was set for take-off on the flight to Tokyo on October 28.

A preliminary breathalyser test found him to be more than 10 times the 9mg legal limit for flying and he pleaded guilty to performing an aviation function while impaired through alcohol.

Jitsukawa was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court to 10 months' imprisonment after apologising for the "shame" he brought on the airline, as his lawyer said he had been abusing alcohol to deal with the challenges of being a pilot.

Judge Phillip Matthews warned the consequences for passengers could have been "catastrophic" if the co-pilot had taken charge of the 7pm flight.

Unlike in the UK, it is not rare for Japanese executives to take pay cuts after a scandal.

Nissan's bosses last year returned part of their salaries in acts of contrition over illegal inspections at its factories.

Press Association

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business