air transat
Passengers complained of long delays after two Air Transat pilots were arrested in Glasgow on suspicion of being drunkGetty

Two pilots have been arrested at Glasgow airport on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol moments before they were due to fly a transatlantic passenger jet to Toronto, Canada.

Staff reportedly raised concerns about the two Air Transat pilots' behaviour shortly before the Airbus A310, carrying up to 250 passengers, was scheduled to take off at 1pm on Monday (18 July).

Police Scotland confirmed it had arrested a 39-year-old man, believed to be the captain, and a 37-year-old man, believed to be the first officer. They are due to appear in Paisley sheriff court on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Air Transat said passengers, who had complained of long delays, were being put up in hotels with a rescheduled flight taking off on Tuesday.

A spokesman said: "Air Transat has learned of the arrest on July 18 of two crew members assigned to its Glasgow-Toronto flight.

"We will await the results of the investigation and judicial proceedings before commenting on the matter before making any further comments. The safety of our crews and passengers is, and will remain, a top priority at Air Transat."

The pilots were arrested under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003, which makes it an offence to operate or prepare to operate an aircraft while over a prescribed limit.

Pilots are allowed 20 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, less than half the limit afforded to motorists in Scotland and a quarter of what motorists in England and Wales are allowed to consume.

Any pilot or aviation staff convicted of exceeding the limit can be imprisoned for up to two years.

Some passengers complained they faced lengthy delays and of being given little information by Air Transat following the incident.

Toronto resident Nick Davis tweeted that he had been "ignored all day by @airtransat", while another passenger added: "22 hr delay [with] no explanation. 2hr and counting meal delay [with] no apology."