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31 Dec, 2016 16:50

Airline executives resign after ‘drunken’ pilot allowed into cabin of plane with 154 passengers

Airline executives resign after ‘drunken’ pilot allowed into cabin of plane with 154 passengers

Low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink found itself in hot water after it emerged that one of its pilots had passed a pre-flight check despite being heavily intoxicated. His plane’s takeoff was delayed after some of the 154 passengers decided to disembark.

The subsidiary of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said the pilot in question was fired after the Wednesday morning incident, and two of Citilink’s top executives announced their resignations on Friday as a gesture of responsibility, the Jakarta Post reported.

The pilot, identified as Tekad Purna, showed up for duty on Wednesday to fly a plane from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, to Soekarno Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.

Passengers reported that he could not speak coherently when announcing takeoff and was acting suspiciously. Footage from a security camera shows him stumbling and dropping things as he was passing a check at the airport.

The airline replaced Tekad with another pilot after the passengers on board his plane protested, with some saying they would rather get off than fly with the drunk captain.

Tekad was sacked on Friday after spending two days under suspension. In addition, Citilink President Director Albert Burhan and Operational Director Hadinoto Soedigno resigned, announcing the decision at a media conference called to brief the public on the scandalous incident.

The exact state of the pilot at the time of the incident is expected to be revealed next week, when results of the two medical tests he was ordered to undergo are ready.