China’s official news agency has just revealed the national civil aviation bureau grounded two pilots who had a physical set-to in the cockpit. Xinhua stated that the row took place on a China United Airlines aircraft flying an unspecified route on 14 June 2015.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) only cited the brawl as one of several incidents involving the low-cost airline. It was almost buried among citations of passengers causing delays, or other problems such as trying to open doors mid-flight, on board China United operated services.
Unconfirmed reports circulating in China say blood was spilt in the 30,000-feet fight between the pilots. A China United spokesperson said this was not true and the two had a verbal altercation with minimal physical contact over work and working practices. The statement noted the duo had been banned from flying for six months.
Due to the various incidents affecting China United flights, the CAAC reduced the number of hours it can fly by 10 per cent and slapped a ban on it launching any new routes. The airline’s statement also said it had noted the complaints made against it and would be putting its house in order.
CAAC investigators logged seven serious incidents in June and July involving China United services. The report alleged that in one case an aircraft was utilised for flights when it had been ruled as unfit to fly. The airline’s problems were not just limited to its flight operations as the CAAC inspection team claimed its management flaunted safety regulations.