Japan Airlines flight attendant found drunk on duty

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A Japan Airlines flight attendant, who failed breathalyzer tests last week, was found to have consumed alcohol while on duty, the JAL Co. said Tuesday.

An internal investigation showed that on a flight from Tokyo to Honolulu on Dec. 17, the 46-year-old female attendant's breath smelt of alcohol and failed two breathalyzer tests conducted after a colleague noticed, JAL said.

"An unserved bottle of champagne (170g) for Premium Economy was found empty in the galley area," JAL said in a release.

Before boarding the flight, the attendant took a test and no alcohol had been detected. However, she failed other two tests on board, which revealed 0.15 milligram and 0.1 mg of alcohol, respectively, in violation of JAL's set limit of 0.10 mg, according to the airline.

The flight attendant did not recognize the test results, saying that she had not had any alcohol since Dec. 14, JAL said, adding that she repeatedly used mouthwash during the flight.

JAL President Yuji Akasaka and Eri Abe, head of the cabin attendants division, will take 20 and 10 percent salary reductions for one month, respectively, to shoulder the responsibility of the incident, the airline said.

JAL has been caught up in a series of drinking scandals involving its pilots.

A JAL co-pilot, who exceeded the British alcohol limit by around 10 times prior to a flight in October, was arrested in London and sentenced to 10 months in prison late last month.

The airline said after the London incident it planned to introduce breathalyzer tests for the flight attendants as well. 

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