Air India's director of operations steps down after failing pilot breath tests

Air India's director of operations Arvind Kathpalia had been scheduled to be a pilot on a flight from London to New Delhi on Nov 11, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Air India's director of operations, who failed two breathalyser tests before he was scheduled to be a pilot on a London to New Delhi flight on Sunday (Nov 11), has stepped down from his job and from the company's board, an official at the airline told Reuters on Tuesday (Nov 13).

He was asked to resign by India's civil aviation ministry, the official said.

The ministry's directive comes only a day after India's air safety watchdog suspended the licence of the senior pilot, Arvind Kathpalia, for three years.

This is the second time Kathpalia has been in trouble over alcohol tests. He was suspended for three months in 2017 for allegedly refusing to take breathalyser tests.

Kathpalia, who said on Sunday he had not been drinking and was the victim of internal feuding, could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.

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