A scandal has engulfed a low-cost Garuda subsidiary after video footage surfaced of a captain staggering through a security check on his way to the cockpit, with his subsequent slurred and incoherent behaviour on the flight deck so alarming that passengers rioted.
Two Indonesian airline executives resigned after the release of the disturbing footage below, ABC News reported. The clip appears to show the pilot lurching unsteadily through Juanda International Airport in Surabaya.
Reuters reported that Indonesian authorities had issued a warning over the incident to airline PT Citilink Indonesia, a Garuda subsidiary. The airline initially denied the pilot was drunk but suspended him following the release of the footage. The pilot was later sacked, reportedly.
Passengers rioted when they heard the pilot’s incoherent ramblings over the aircraft’s public address system, ABC News reported. Some passengers abandoned the plane and fled. The pilot was eventually replaced and the flight, carrying 154 passengers, departed for Jakarta an hour late.
A cockpit video is seen here:
Citilink’s president director and operational director are reported to have offered their resignations two days after the incident.
Written by Peter Needham