Citilink top executives resign after 'drunk pilot' incident in Indonesia

Less than 72 hours after reports of an allegedly drunk Citilink pilot showing up for work circulated in the public, two top executives of the low-cost carrier announced on Friday their resignation as a gesture of responsibility for the incident.

Speaking to The Jakarta Post on Friday, Citilink vice president of corporate communications Benny S. Butarbutar said that president director Albert Burhan and operational director Hadinoto Soedigno had decided to resign from the company following the incident.

"Pak Albert expressed his intention to resign all of a sudden at the end of a press conference [on Friday] as a form of his responsibility [regarding the case]," he said, adding that the resignation must first get approval by the company's board of commissioners and its parent company.

Citilink, the low-cost subsidiary of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, has been under media spotlight following reports that one of its pilots was possibly under the influence of alcohol while on duty.

The pilot, identified as Capt. Tekad Purna, was relieved on Wednesday after passengers claimed he spoke incoherently during a flight announcement made before takeoff. Many passengers decided to disembark from the plane soon after as they were suspicious that the pilot was drunk.

The incident occurred on Wednesday morning as a Citilink flight prepared to depart from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.

Also on Friday, the airline announced that it had fired Tekad for breaching the procedures, a violation that can endanger the lives of passengers.

The pilot was reported to have undergone a medical test at a clinic in Surabaya, East Java, as well as a second medical test in Jakarta by the Flight Health Agency. The final results of the medical check will be issued in a week.

Read also: Indonesian pilot under probe after allegedly showing up drunk for flight