SriLankan flight UL554 from Frankfurt to Colombo was delayed by 15 hours on Friday. The flight was scheduled to leave at 3:20PM on Friday and ended up leaving at 6:20AM on Saturday.
The reason for the delay was the drunkenness of the captain that was noticed by other crew members and alerted authorities.
Deutsche Welle writes about this incident on their piece (access here) of which below is an excerpt:
A drunk Sri Lankan Airline pilot arrived at the Frankfurt airport to fly a plane with more than 270 passengers to Colombo, but he was blocked by other members of the cabin crew, it was reported Sunday.
The pilot arrived at the airport already drunk on Friday but intending to pilot an Airbus A330 to the Sri Lankan capital with 274 people on board.
The flight was delayed more than 15 hours, until a replacement pilot was found the next day. The airline apologized for the incident on its website.
“Due to unavailability of a flight crew member, the aircraft was unable to leave Frankfurt as scheduled last afternoon,” the airline said in the statement over the weekend.
SriLankan owes more than just an apology for the affected passengers. The airline is required to pay 600 euros for each passenger if they happen to be aware of their rights per EC 261/2004 and request compensation. I hope that the airline also provided care (accommodation and meals) during this ordeal (also required by EU legislation).
Seems that every few months there is a pilot caught trying to fly a plane under the influence. Not a huge number considering the number of commercial pilots out there working for airlines.