Japan: Skymark Airlines reprimanded for overruling captain’s safety concerns

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism reprimanded Skymark Airlines for replacing a captain who refused to take off over safety concerns, The Mainichi Daily News reported.

In a press release, the Ministry reported that the captain of Skymark Airlines flight BC017 asked the company’s headquarters on February 5, 2010 to replace the chief cabin attendant who he judged unable to deal with a possible emergency during the flight. The chief cabin attendant reportedly suffered from a cold. The flight was due to depart Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND/RJTT) on a domestic flight to Fukuoka Airport (FUK/RJFF).

Company officials ordered the captain to accomplish the flight without changing the chief cabin attendant, but he refused to do so. Skymark then ordered another captain on standby to take over the flight and fired the original captain the same day.

Skymark was given a written reprimand by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on March 9, 2010.

Flight BC017 was carried out by a Boeing 737-86N, registered JA737K.

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