Latvian pilot and crew fail breath test

  • 09/08/2015
airBaltic (Reuters)
airBaltic (Reuters)

The Latvian pilot of an airBaltic flight and three crew members have been pulled off the Greece-bound plane in Oslo after failing a breathalyser test before take-off, Norwegian police say.

"Results of the breathalyser tests confirmed that four of the five crew members ... were above the legal alcohol limit," Romerike police prosecutor Edith Ek Sorensen told AFP on Saturday.

The pilot, co-pilot and two stewardesses - all from Latvia and employed by airBaltic - were taken into police custody and escorted to hospital for blood tests to confirm the breathalyser exams.

Results were expected later.

Sorensen said police had acted after receiving a tipoff from an anonymous caller.

AirBaltic spokesman Janis Vanags told AFP the company had a "zero tolerance" policy with regard to alcohol.

"Zero tolerance means no alcohol," Vanags said. "It's very straightforward - safety is our number one priority."

"There has been an initial test and that is being followed up with more detailed tests. When we have the results we will take appropriate action," he added, offering the company's apologies to customers.

The four risk up to two years in prison if found guilty.

Sorensen would not comment on the flight's destination, but Norwegian daily Dagbladet said it was a tour group flight operated by the Norwegian group StarTour headed for Chania, Greece, with 109 passengers on board.