Pilot "over alcohol limit" before flight

LONDON (Reuters) - A 57-year old pilot has been arrested at Heathrow airport for failing a breathalyser test just before he was due to fly an American Airlines jet to Chicago with 204 passengers aboard.

A spokeswoman for the airline said on Thursday the pilot was stopped on Wednesday morning before boarding flight AA87.

Police had been alerted by concerned airport security staff.

“An American Airlines pilot was arrested at London Heathrow airport yesterday having failed a breathalyser test,” the airline said in a statement.

“American Airlines’ primary concern is for the safety and comfort of our passengers and crews,” it added.

The company has strict policies on alcohol and substance abuse and holds its employees to the highest standards.”

The unnamed pilot has been bailed to appear at a UK police station in July.

Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi