#1
Air Transat flight to Toronto delayed after pilots allegedly drunk
TV personalities Colin and Justin among passengers
By Nick Westoll , Toronto Sun
First posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 07:42 AM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 08:17 PM EDT
“BLOTTO PILOTS.” That was the headline on the front page of Tuesday’s The Scottish Sun, and that’s how some Toronto-bound passengers learned their pilots had been arrested on suspicion of drunkenness. Air Transat flight TS725 was scheduled to leave Glasgow on Monday but didn’t leave the ground until 21 hours later. HGTV designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan were among those impacted by the delay, which airline officials reportedly initially described as “an operational issue.” “We were told initially it would be a one-hour delay, that was then changed to two hours, then four hours” Ryan said Tuesday.
Scotland Police said the pilots, aged 37 and 39, were charged with being “impaired through alcohol.”
The BBC identified them as Imran Zafar Syed and Jean-Francois Perrault.
The Scottish Sun said the pair had been charged under Section 93 of the United Kingdom’s Railway and Transport Safety Act, an aviation regulation dealing with alcohol. The pilots were denied bail after being deemed a flight risk, the newspaper added.
Canadian aviation regulations prohibit any aircraft crew members from working while intoxicated or within eight hours of having an alcoholic drink.
Transport Canada said staff are reviewing the pilots’ records and Air Transat’s policies.
“As more information becomes available, the department will not hesitate to take enforcement action, including issuing fines and revoking licences if appropriate,” the federal agency said.
After arrival at Pearson, passengers said the lack of information from Air Transat and the time to get to a hotel were their main frustrations.
“It took a long time from when the problem started to making a decision,” passengerEwan Gardner said, adding he only found out about the reason for the delay a full day after the fact.
Passengers were put up in hotels and offered $200 airline vouchers.
Air Transat released a brief statement about the incident.
“We will await the results of the investigation and judicial proceedings before commenting on the matter,” the statement read. “The safety of our crews and passengers is, and will remain, a top priority at Air Transat.”
Meanwhile, McAllister and Ryan praised those responsible for reporting the situation.
“As far as we’re concerned, it’s better (to have) a cancelled flight and remain completely and utterly safe,” Ryan said.
— With files from The Canadian Press
NWestoll@postmedia.com
Air Transat flight to Toronto delayed after pilots allegedly drunk | Canada | Ne