Japan Airlines President Takes A Pay Decrease Due To Drunk Pilot Incident

Japan Airlines has been the subject of international attention in the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, this is, however, for all the wrong reasons. The story started when a pilot went to board his flight on 28th October. Approximately 50 minutes before the flight, the pilot was arrested after failing an alcohol breath test. Following a date in court, he was sentenced to a prison term. Now, members of the senior management of Japan Airlines have taken a pay cut out of shame over the incident.

Japan Airlines Drunk Pilot
CCTV shows the Japan Airlines pilot being detained.

What Happened?

The story begins on October 28th. The pilot of Japan Airlines flight JL44 was arrested moments before the flight was due to depart. Following a night of whisky drinking, the driver of a crew bus found he could smell alcohol on the pilot. The incident was reported to police who attended the aircraft. Despite having already passed a company alcohol test, which he admitted cheating, he blew a positive result. As such, the pilot was arrested by police, and taken to a police station. Here he was recorded as being 9 times over the pilot’s alcohol limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood. The pilot had a shocking 189mg of alcohol in his blood! As such he was arrested and detained by the authorities. A replacement was found to take his place on the flight. As such, the flight eventually departed 69 minutes late.

Japan Airlines Drunk Pilot
Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was 9 times over the pilot’s alcohol limit.

Subsequent Court Case

The case appeared before the crown court last week on the 29th of November. At the hearing, the pilot said he was an “abject disgrace”. The judge said that the thought of him being in command of the B777 was “too appalling to contemplate”. The defendant, Katsutoshi Jitsukawa, was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty. He was charged with one count of performing an aviation function while impaired by alcohol. Additionally, the pilot has understandably lost his job.

Japan Airlines Drunk Pilot
A Japan Airlines vice president claims that colleagues didn’t conspire with Katsutoshi Jitsukawa outside court.

Japan Airlines Shame

Japan is a country that is built around pride. As such we occasionally see stories which would be extraordinary in the West. A great example is the case of a train driver who departed 25 seconds early in May. Following this incident, the rail company was forced to issue an apology after passengers complained. As such, some of the senior management at Japan Airlines have taken a pay cut out of shame over the incident. The action sees the airline’s president will take a 20% pay cut for a period of 3 months. At the same time another executive officer will take a 10% pay cut over the same period.

19 Japan Airlines pilots have failed alcohol tests since August 2017.

It isn’t the first time that Japan Airlines chiefs have “punished” themselves. When the airline was performing poorly almost a decade ago, the CEO of the airline was taking the city bus into work each day. Additionally, he was paying himself just $90,000.

Do you think it is fair that the senior management feels the need to dock their pay? If so, do you think the percentage cut is appropriate? Let us know in the comments down below!