A Singapore Airlines pilot has been stood down after he allegedly failed an alcohol test on the morning he was due to fly an international flight.
The airline was forced to cancel the flight from Melbourne to Wellington in New Zealand on Saturday morning and the return flight the same day.
An airline spokesman confirmed the last minute cancellation to Daily Mail Australia in regard to an ‘operating crew member being deemed unfit to fly’.
‘The Civil Aviation Safety Authority officials undertook a random drug and alcohol test of all crew prior to them starting their pre-flight checks,’ he said.
‘The pilot in question did not pass the test due to having a higher than suitable blood alcohol limit.’
The pilot had reportedly flown in from Singapore and had a day or two layover in Melbourne prior to the scheduled flight, according to Stuff.
He was stood down, suspended from all duties and has since returned to Singapore, where a full investigation will take place.
‘We will also work closely with the Australian and Singaporean authorities to ensure they are supplied the information they require,’ the spokesman said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Civil Aviation Safety Authority for further comment.
Stranded passengers took to social media to express their anger.
Some were flying to Wellington for the All Blacks rugby union Test match against South Africa, including one disappointed fan who had travelled from Tokyo.
‘Care to try to explain why your captain (ie most experienced person on the aircraft) of SQ247 waits until boarding time to decide they’re too ill/drunk to fly? Will miss the the allblacks rugby match I bought tickets for and flew to WLG from NRT to see,’ he tweeted.
One person replied: ‘At least he didn’t fly! Better to be down here wishing you were up there, than being up there wishing you were down here.’
Another stranded passenger added: ‘Terrible service on your cancelled Melbourne to Wellington flight this morning. No options given to stranded customers except to call your useless booking line! Hotel fees and taxi fares all lost not to mention a day of holiday. Appalling service.’