Singapore Airlines Cancels New Zealand Flight After Pilot Fails Sobriety Test
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ247 from Melbourne, Australia (MEL), to Wellington, New Zealand (WEL), was canceled Saturday after its pilot failed a sobriety test. The flight was abruptly canceled after the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) decided to conduct a random alcohol and drug test on the flight crew.
The unnamed pilot had flown in from Singapore and then spent a day or two in Melbourne before failing the alcohol test, according to Singapore Airlines spokesperson Karl Schubert. The airline did not release the blood alcohol content level found in the pilot's failed test, but he was deemed unable to fly the Boeing 777. The limit for pilots in Australia is .02%, and pilots are not allowed to drink alcohol in the eight hours before a flight, according to the Australian Federation of Air Pilots.
The cancellation was devastating to rugby fans who were headed to watch New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, play against South Africa in the 2018 Investec Rugby Championship. The return flight to Melbourne also had to be canceled as a result.
Schubert stated that this is the first time, to his knowledge, that a Singapore Airlines pilot has ever failed a sobriety test. Both CASA and Singapore Airlines did not comment further on next steps for the pilot.