Two pilots arrested in Glasgow ahead of flight on suspicion of being under influence of alcohol

Concerns are reported to have been raised before the United Airlines flight to New York yesterday

Two pilots arrested in Glasgow ahead of flight on suspicion of being under influence of alcohol

File photo dated 28/01/16 of a United Airlines plane. Image: Steve Parsons / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Two airline pilots have been arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol before a flight in Glasgow.

Concerns were raised before the 9am United Airlines flight took off to New York on Saturday.

Police say the two men, aged 35 and 45, were arrested at the airport and are likely to appear in court on Monday.

The flight eventually took off several hours later with two different pilots and 141 passengers on board.  

A spokesman for United Airlines said: "The two pilots have been removed from service and their flying duties.

"We are co-operating with the authorities and will conduct our own investigation as well. The safety of our customers and crew is our highest priority."

A Police Scotland spokesman said the alleged offences were under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003, Section 93.

This relates to carrying out pilot function or activity while exceeding the prescribed limit of alcohol.

For pilots, it is an offence to exceed nine microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The drink-drive limit in England and Wales is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres. 

Last month, two Canadian pilots were charged with being drunk as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Scotland to Toronto.

Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were arrested on 18 July before they were due to take off on the Air Transat flight from Glasgow Airport.

The men were remanded in custody when they first appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court, having also been charged under section 93 of the same Act.

At a second hearing they were granted bail on condition they surrender their passports.