Chinese airline Air Guilin suspended a pilot and reportedly asked for his license to be revoked after he was found to have allowed a woman passenger into the cockpit during a commercial flight.
Although the incident took place in January, it came to light after the “happy” passenger shared the photo on Chinese social media site Weibo recently. The photo shows the woman sitting in the cockpit of the aircraft with a tray-table open in front of her with cups of drinks in them.
Thanking the pilot for the unique experience, she said the experience was “so thrilling”.
As the photo and screenshots of the post went viral, it caused a stir online and many questioned how such a breach of security had taken place. After receiving a lot of backlash online, the woman deleted the original post.
The airline issued a statement on Monday in which it said that the captain let a woman passenger into the cockpit during a flight from Guilin to Yangzhou on January 4. The airline did not address questions about the fact that the photo seemed to have been clicked during the flight.
“Air Guilin always makes passenger safety a top priority and has zero tolerance for improper or unprofessional behaviors that pose threats to aviation safety,” the company said in a statement.
According to a South China Morning Post report, eight senior executives faced disciplinary action by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). It included the general manager in charge of flight operations, who was removed from his post, and the chairman of the airline, who was given a “serious warning”. Six other senior executives were all given a “serious demerit” in their record.
A Global Times report said the woman could also be punished with five days in detention and a fine of 2,000 yuan ($284).