Canadian pilots thought to be drunk before flying passenger jet are remanded

A plane featuring the Air Transat logo.
A plane featuring the Air Transat logo.PHOTO: AIR TRANSAT

LONDON (AFP) - Two Canadian pilots charged on suspicion of being drunk as they prepared to fly a passenger jet from Glasgow in Scotland to Toronto were remanded in custody on Tuesday (July 19), the prosecutors' office said.

Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, appeared in court the day after they were arrested as they were due to pilot an Air Transat A310 plane, which carries up to 250 passengers.

Perreault, from Ontario, and Syed, from Toronto, were charged under section 93 of the Railway and Transport Safety Act, which covers alcohol and drug limits in aviation.

They also face charges relating to "threatening or abusive behaviour", according to details provided by the Crown Office.

Neither man made a plea during the private hearing at Paisley Sheriff Court in Scotland, and both were remanded in custody until their next appearance, which will take place within eight days.

Canadian airline Air Transat had earlier said that Monday's flight had been rescheduled and passengers put up in hotels.

"Air Transat has learned of the arrest on July 18 of two crew members assigned to its Glasgow-Toronto flight," a spokesman said.

"We will await the results of the investigation and judicial proceedings before commenting on the matter.

"The safety of our crews and passengers is, and will remain, a top priority at Air Transat."