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Soubhik Mitra, Mumbai: Aviation regulator has asked low-cost carrier IndiGo to investigate four pilots who posed for a photograph with a whisky
bottle in an aircraft, citing safety concerns.
It is not known if the pilots, who were not in uniform, were drunk when the picture was taken but the directorate general of civil aviation on Tuesday asked Indigo for an explanation.
Air safety rules prohibit pilots from drinking on duty. Alcohol tests are carried out before and after flights to check for violations that can invite suspension. A pilot stands to lose licence for repeat offences.
The airlines said it had carried out an internal investigation when it got to know of the incident and found no violations.
“As per the internal investigation – these pilots were on leave and were off duty hours, when this picture was clicked by them as regular travelers on an international flight,” an IndiGo spokesperson said on Wednesday. The liquor bottle was sealed.
The spokesperson said they informed the regulator when they got to know about the picture, which was taken in October 2013 and shared on Facebook in January. An anonymous complainant sent the picture to the DGCA on Tuesday.
“Drinking is permitted to passengers on international flights but passengers cannot drink from their own bottles. We have asked the airline to probe the matter and submit a report,” a DGCA official said.
A spokesperson, citing DGCA regulations, said the pilots were in the clear as regulator permits photography inside the aircraft. “The said pilots were not in uniform in the picture and it was an international flight where the consumption of alcohol is not prohibited,” the spokesperson said.