WestJet pilots file for federal conciliation; months of contract talks unsuccessful

Air Transat to compensate all passengers following drunk pilots’ arrest

MONTREAL — Air Transat’s president says the carrier will compensate all passengers booked on a flight that was disrupted when two pilots were arrested on suspicion of drunkenness.

“We will be compensating all passengers on this flight pursuant to the applicable European regulations,” Jean-Francois Lemay said in a statement Thursday.

European Union rules stipulate a passenger is entitled to 600 euros in the event a flight longer than 3,500 kilometres is cancelled.

The airline confirmed the pilots arrested in Scotland have been suspended at least until the end of an internal investigation.

“The issue of the July 18 arrest of two Air Transat pilots in Glasgow is a complex one, and because the matter is the subject of judicial proceedings in Scotland, the airline will not comment at this point,” the statement said.

Jean-Francois Perreault, 39, and Imran Zafar Syed, 37, were detained at Glasgow Airport on Monday shortly before they were to fly an Airbus A310 with about 250 passengers from Glasgow to Toronto.

The two were charged under a section of the United Kingdom’s Railway and Transport Safety Act that precludes people from conducting aviation functions “when the proportion of alcohol in (their) breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit.”

They are also each facing a charge related to threatening or abusive behaviour.

Canadian aviation regulations prohibit any aircraft crew members from working while intoxicated or within eight hours after having an alcoholic drink.

“Canadian and European rules and regulations that we are subject to regarding alcohol consumption are very strict,” Lemay said.

“Our own internal rules are even more stringent, and we do not tolerate any failure to comply.”


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