Arvind Kathpalia, who was recently sacked from the post of operations director in Air India after he failed to clear the pre-flight alcohol test twice, has been reverted to the post of executive director (ED), an airline source said on Tuesday. However, the senior pilot has not been assigned to any department to handle, the source added.
The national carrier spokesperson couldn’t be reached for his comments, news agency PTI reported.
Captain Kathpalia, who has been serving the national carrier since late 1980s, was promoted to the post of director in March 2017 from the position of ED, just about two months after his flying licence was suspended for three months for skipping a breath analyser (BA) or alcohol test.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had approved his appointment as director for operations, which is a board-level position, for a period of five years.
Air India spokesperson was not available for comments.
Following the positive findings in the alcohol test on November 11, the airline took him off flying duties while aviation regulator DGCA suspended his flying licence for three years.
Later, the Civil Aviation ministry relieved him from his position.
“Taking (into consideration) serious nature of the transgression and failure to course correct even after earlier suspension of flying licence for three months, the Minister of Civil Aviation has accorded approval for relieving Capt Arvind Kathpalia from the charge of director of operations of Air India Ltd with immediate effect,” the ministry said in its November 13 order.
In 2017, Kathpalia was suspended for three months when he had allegedly refused to undergo the alcohol test before and after his flight, which he operated on the Bengaluru and New Delhi and back in January that year.
(With PTI inputs)