Lion Air confirms one of its senior pilots arrested for drug possession in East Nusa Tenggara

A Lion Air plane in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A Lion Air plane in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Lion Air is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, but it continues to be dogged by scandals ranging from massive flight delays to a flight attendant allegedly slapping a passenger. One serious issue that has come up multiple times in the past is Lion Air pilots being caught with narcotics.

Today, the company confirmed that one of their pilots had been arrested at a hotel in the city of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

“The (pilot suspected of taking drugs) is a senior pilot who has been working for Lion Air since 2014 and has had health checks, as well as shown good work ethics and behavior,” Lion Air Group Corporate Spokesperson Ramaditya Handoko said in a written statement on Tuesday picked up by Detik.

The pilot, identified by police as MS, was arrested on Monday night when his hotel was raided by police. He is currently under investigation at the Kupang Police Station.

In the press release, Rama said that all Lion Air crew members are required to undergo urine testing at the start of each of their work days. The company also requires pilots to undergo routine health checks every six months. Rama said MS would be fired immediately if there was any evidence he had been using narcotics.

In 2015, a Lion Air pilot and two flight attendants were arrested by officers from the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) at a “drug party” in South Tangerang, and, between 2012-2015, three Lion Air pilots were arrested for drug use.


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