An Air India pilot has lost his licence after failing two breathalyser tests before a flight to London.

Arvind Kathpalia has been stripped of his pilots’ licence for three years after failing the breathalyser before the flight from Delhi on Sunday, November 11.

The first test showed a 0.07 per cent blood alcohol content, and the second came in higher at 0.08 per cent blood alcohol content. He was deemed unfit to fly by Air India’s medical service department.

The Delhi-London flight, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, was delayed by more than an hour while an alternative pilot was sought. Kathpalia had his licence suspended the following day after an investigation by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Indian civil aviation regulator.

The senior pilot denied drinking on the job and said he would contest the action from the (DGCA). He blamed the incident on “internal politics” and told Reuters this week that “everyone is fighting with everyone” at Air India following the 2007 merger with Indian Airlines.

Kathpalia was previously suspended for three months in 2017 after allegedly refusing to take a test before a New Delhi-Bengaluru flight.

A spokesman for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Indian civil aviation regulator, said in a statement: “The privileges of his license have been suspended for a period of three years from 11 November 2018 as per the provisions of applicable regulations.”

Air India has been approached for comment.