Berlin, Mar 24 (AFP) The co-pilot of a Portuguese airline was detained in Stuttgart after being found drunk in the cockpit just before take off, German police and prosecutors said today.

German police entered the cockpit and found the 40-year-old in a “highly intoxicated condition” last evening, a statement said.

An airport official had sounded the alert after finding the Portugalia pilot “reeking of alcohol and walking unsteadily,” it said. Portugalia is a subsidiary of the national carrier TAP.

Stuttgart prosecutors immediately suspended the co-pilot’s flying licence and fixed a 10,000-euro (USD 12,000) bail.

Portugalia cancelled a flight from Stuttgart to Lisbon last night with 106 passengers.

TAP said it would “open an enquiry and take necessary measures” and apologised to passengers for the inconvenience caused. AFP KIS KIS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.