A Japanese pilot has admitted being nearly 10 times over the alcohol limit shortly before a flight from Heathrow Airport, police said today.
Japan Airlines officials said they believed the pilot had tampered with the test to hide his drinking.
Yesterday the pilot pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court to exceeding the alcohol limit.
Under the current Japanese system, crew members are prohibited from drinking within eight hours of starting work but there is no law or regulation that sets a legal limit for alcohol consumption.
He had reportedly consumed two bottles of wine and more than 1.8 litres (nearly four USA pints) of beer over six hours on the night before the flight.
JAL Flight 44's departure from London at 7pm on Sunday local time was delayed by more than an hour.
The incident came only a day after another Japanese carrier reported multiple delays blamed on a hung-over pilot who called in sick.
Japan Airlines co-pilot arrested after failing a breath test shortly before a London to Tokyo flight pleaded guilty today to being nearly 10 times over the legal limit for alcohol.
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He was arrested on October 28 just 50 minutes before the plane was due to leave, with the flight finally taking off after a 69-minute delay.
According to JAL, the co-pilot has said he drank two bottles of wine, one red and one rose, three 330-milliliter bottles of beer and two 440-milliliter cans of beer at a hotel lounge and in his hotel room, but said his last drink was up to 20 hours before the flight.
He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on November 29.
The drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg.
Under its internal rules, JAL limits two-pilot flights to routes of up to 12 hours.
"We are certain (the in-house breath test) wasn´t conducted properly", JAL communications chief Muneaki Kitahara told reporters.
"The company sincerely apologizes to the passengers and to all affected by the employee's actions", JAL said in a press release.
Following the two incidents, the transport ministry urged airline companies to strictly comply with rules on drinking.