Japan Airlines boss takes 20% pay cut over drunk pilot incident

TOKYO: The boss of Japan Airlines (JAL) will take a 20 per cent pay cut for three months after a pilot showed up drunk for duty with almost 10 times the legal alcohol limit. 

JAL president Yuji Akasaka’s salary will be cut from this month onwards. He also voluntarily returned 20 per cent of his salary for the previous month, announced the company on Friday (Nov 30).  

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READ: Japan Airlines pilot, 10 times over alcohol limit, jailed in UK

READ: Japan Airlines apologises for arrested drunk pilot

Other top executives in the company have also taken pay cuts, reported Japan Today. 

The company said in a statement that it “sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience and undue stress caused to all involved”. 

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It further pledged “to establish an effective and strict management policy to achieve full compliance at all levels to prevent a recurrence”.

In October, a 42-year-old JAL pilot was arrested in the UK for being drunk shortly before a flight at London’s Heathrow Airport. 

A test on Katsutoshi Jitsukawa taken 50 minutes before the flight revealed 189 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system – almost 10 times the 20-milligramme limit for a pilot.

Katsutoshi admitted to drinking two bottles of wine and more than 1.8 litres of beer over six hours the night before he was due to be part of the crew of Flight JL44 from London to Tokyo, said the airline. 

He was sentenced to 10 months’ jail by a UK court.

“I hope JAL will take the sentence seriously,” said Japan Times quoted transport minister Keiichi Ishii as saying. 

“We will consider necessary measures including administrative punishments in light of the ruling.”


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