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Air India pilot, who failed alcohol tests, appointed as regional director


New Delhi, Apr 30: Air India promotes Arvind Kathpalia, who failed pre-flight alcohol tests last year, as regional director (north).

Air India promotes Arvind Kathpalia as regional director (north)

According to the airlines' statement, the sacked pilot will step into regional director Pankaj Kumar's shoes, who retired on Tuesday.

Condemning his promotion, the union of AI pilots said, "Top officials are bending backwards to elevate a tainted official. He's been made in-charge of NR where he'll be able to intimidate people who gave statements in police inquiry."

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) further said that the move proves that "people with strong political connections can get away with any crime". "A person who has broken the law & has chargesheet pending against him cannot take disciplinary action against other employees. ICPA strongly condemns this," they said.

Kathpalia was sacked from the position of Director of Operations after he was barred from flying for at least three years on charges of failing an alcohol test before a scheduled international flight.

Captain Kathpalia was found to have unacceptably high blood alcohol content shortly before his flight from New Delhi to London on Sunday. This was the second instance of the senior pilot failing the breathalyzer test. In January 2017, he was grounded for three months for skipping the test before a flight.

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