Japanese Transport Ministry Calls Out ANA After Pilot Alcohol Incident

Yesterday, Japan’s Ministry of Transportation issued a “business improvement order” to major national carrier All Nippon Airways. This…

Japanese Transport Ministry Calls Out ANA After Pilot Alcohol Incident

Yesterday, Japan’s Ministry of Transportation issued a “business improvement order” to major national carrier All Nippon Airways. This follows an incident where one of its pilots consumed alcohol before a flight last November, causing a delay of over 70 minutes.

The incident took place on 7 November before a flight from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons

Incident details

According to Japanese news site Japan Today, the incident in question took place on November 7th, 2019. It was on that day, at Tokyo Haneda Airport, that an ANA pilot was found to have been drinking alcohol prior to boarding a flight bound for Fukuoka.

Because of his actions, he had to be replaced by a colleague. This caused the delay of four flights. One flight, in particular, was delayed by as much as 73 minutes. In total, 2,000 travelers were affected by the actions of one pilot.

The employee in question was dismissed the following month.

ANA flight attendant
ANA forbids any of their crew to drink less than 24 hours before their next shift. Photo: ANA

A serious offense

Japan Today notes that this is the first time ANA has been handed a “business improvement order” with regards to alcohol consumption by crew members. The order is considered the ministry’s third-most serious type of punishment, below having a business license revoked and having the business suspended.

“Employees will work as one to prevent (this kind of incident) from happening again and recover trust,” -Yuji Hirako, ANA President

Meanwhile, Japan’s Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba called the situation “extremely regrettable”, and hopes that the airline will take the order seriously to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Japan Airlines has had a few incidents of employees drinking before duty as well. This has officially earned it two business improvement orders from the Japanese transport ministry. Photo: Getty Images

In the last year and a half there have been a handful of incidents involving Japanese flight crew and alcohol. In February of 2019, an ANA co-pilot was fired after alcohol was detected in his system before a Kobe-Haneda flight.

Simple Flying reported earlier this year that an ANA flight attendant had too much to drink and also delayed four flights. Back in 2018, a Japan Airlines pilot was found to be 10 times the legal limit in the UK, just before flying a full flight to Japan. The pilot was arrested by police and sentenced to 10 months in prison and was fired by the airline. As a result, the airline was also given a business improvement order. The carrier now has a total of two business improvement orders on record.


While it’s not necessarily unique to Japan, prohibited alcohol consumption by flight crew is certainly making the headlines a lot more frequently compared to carriers in other countries. Hopefully, this latest business improvement order will serve as a sufficient warning for the airline and its workforce.

Why do you think this type of situation is happening more frequently in Japan than in other countries? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Here’s Why Flybe Wants To Retain Its Operating License

The administrators for the UK regional carrier Flybe are appealing to the government to retain the airline’s operating…

Here’s Why Flybe Wants To Retain Its Operating License

The administrators for the UK regional carrier Flybe are appealing to the government to retain the airline’s operating license. The company argued recently that the sale of the business would become unlikely if the license is revoked.

Flybe wants to retain its operating license to increase the chance of achieving a sale. Photo: Getty Images

Flybe in appeal to the CAA over license revocation

Owing to numerous problems, Flybe ceased operations on 5th March. As no investors appeared, the airline voluntarily ended all operations as well as suspending it’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).

Once the airline had ceased operations, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that it would be revoking its operating license and route licenses in effect from 30th April. However, administrators appealed this revocation, and a hearing took place before the CAA panel on 16th April. Here, evidence was presented, and submissions were made on the prospect of the company being acquired as a going concern within a reasonable period.

The CAA’s panel concluded that there was no counterparty to fix the airline’s finances within 12 months and also rejected Flybe’s request for a temporary operating license for the same reason.

Following this decision, the administrators had a two-week window where they could launch an appeal. The statement of proposals states that they intend to appeal to UK transport secretary Grant Shapps.

Flybe used to operate 36% of routes within the UK. Photo: Flybe

Would an operating license help achieve a sale?

The administrators dispute the view of the CAA, stating that they would be more likely to achieve the sale of the airline if the license was maintained.

The efforts of the administrators have resulted in over 200 interested parties. Of these, 90 issued information memoranda and generated submissions of around 20 non-binding offers. The administrators believe that a going-concern sale of the business and assets may still be possible.

Three parties have shown an interest in the business and its assets, although the company is not a legal entity. The administrators are working towards receiving and evaluating final offers in early May.

It is unlikely that a business sale, including the transfer of existing employees, will be possible if the operating license is revoked since it prevents the sale of the airport slots – which would be central to any bid for the business,” the administrators said in a statement to Flight Global.


Coronavirus travel restrictions are causing a challenge for the sale of Flybe. Photo: Transport Pixels via Wikimedia


Several parties have shown interest in Flybe’s slots – the total value of which is uncertain. However, the administrators say they have not yet received an offer that is capable of acceptance because of the current uncertainty in the airline market. The administrators stated that they would continue to market the slots for sale, either through a group-wide sale of the business or as a separate sale process.

Coronavirus pandemic preventing a quick sale

With the current travel bans in place, the administrators point out that even though negotiations are on-going, it is proving to be challenging. The current travel restrictions coupled with depleting valuations, capital constraints, and overall diminished interest in investing in the industry, are making it difficult to complete a sale in the timeframe allowed.

Do you think Flybe should be allowed to retain its operating license? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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