A Japan Airlines group domestic flight was delayed on Wednesday after its pilot was tested and found to have exceeded the limit for breath alcohol.
The Japan Air Commuter flight from an airport in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, to Yakushima Island, also in the prefecture, was due to depart 8:50 AM. But it left the airport about an hour late, after its pilot had to be replaced.
The flight's original pilot, who is aged 40, was discovered to have an alcohol level of 0.2 milligrams per liter of breath an hour before the flight. That's double the company limit.
The pilot admitted to drinking alcohol the day before, but reportedly denied that he consumed it within 12 hours of his flight -- which is banned by the airline.
Japan Air Commuter apologized over the matter.
The problem occurred at a time when JAL is under transport ministry scrutiny over a similar case. A JAL co-pilot was arrested last month in London for exceeding alcohol limits before a Tokyo-bound flight.