A Japan Airlines (JAL) pilot was arrested in London on Sunday after it was discovered that his blood-alcohol content was almost ten times over the legal limit.
First Officer Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was scheduled to fly a Boeing 777 jet from London to Tokyo last Sunday.
Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that police warned the driver of the airport bus, which breathed fumes pilot.
Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested by United Kingdom police at Heathrow airport for violating British aviation law, the airline said in a press release.
Speaking to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, Japan's transport minister said the government would look into toughening regulations on alcohol consumption by pilots in the wake of the incidents.
JAL said the co-pilot, whose name was withheld, acknowledged that breath and blood tests found alcohol levels "ten times" over the legal limit.
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He had reportedly consumed two bottles of wine and more than 1.8 litres of beer over six hours on the night before the flight. The legal limit for a pilot is 20 mg.
Jitsukawa admitted to the improper conduct at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court in west London on Thursday and will remain in custody until he is sentenced on November 29.
"The company sincerely apologises to the passengers and to all affected by the employee's actions", JAL said in a press release. The airline said "safety remains our utmost priority" and it will "implement immediate actions to prevent any future occurrence".
The apology came a day after another major Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways, apologised for causing delays to five domestic flights after a pilot became unwell due to heavy drinking the night before.
The almost 12-hour flight from London to Tokyo normally has two captains and a co-pilot.