The government on Friday recommended Japan Airlines Co. improve operations after one of its flight attendants drank alcohol on duty last month, the latest disciplinary measure against the airline that has been embroiled in a number of such incidents involving its flight crews recently.
The female attendant drank some champagne for passengers on a flight from Narita airport outside Tokyo to Honolulu on Dec. 17. She tested positive in breathalyzer test after a colleague noticed the smell of alcohol on her breath, according to JAL.
She has also admitted to consuming alcohol on a flight in November 2017, the airline said.
"I deeply apologize for a series of cases of misconduct," said JAL President Yuji Akasaka, after receiving the recommendation at the ministry.
JAL has been under scrutiny since one of its pilots was arrested by British police in October for being around 10 times over the legal alcohol limit under British aviation law, delaying the departure of its London-Tokyo flight for more than an hour.
He was later convicted in Britain and dismissed by JAL.
Transport minister Keiichi Ishii criticized the airline, saying, "The company as a whole lacks awareness that this is a critical problem in terms of safety."
Given a series of drinking-related incidents, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism issued a business improvement order for JAL in December. Friday's action adds to pressure on JAL to enhance its safety management.
Among other instances of misconduct by JAL crew, it was recently learned that a captain used another pilot as a stand-in in order to skip an alcohol test ahead of his Narita-Chicago flight in December 2017.