Two United Airlines pilots arrested before flight from Scotland to U.S.

"We hold all of our employees to the highest standards and have a strict, no tolerance policy for alcohol," United Airlines said in a statement.
Image: A United Airlines passenger plane lands at Newark Liberty International Airport
A United Airlines passenger plane lands at Newark Liberty International Airport on Sept. 9, 2015, in Newark, N.J.Mel Evans / AP file

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By Phil McCausland

Two United Airlines pilots were arrested in Scotland on Saturday morning for drinking before taking control of the aircraft they were supposed to fly to the United States.

Scottish police confirmed to NBC News that they arrested two men, aged 61 and 45, under a British law that pertains to pilots carrying out their duties while under the influence of alcohol.

United Airlines ultimately had to cancel UA162, the 9 a.m. flight traveling from Glasgow to Newark, New Jersey.

The company said the safety of their passengers and crew take top priority.

"We hold all of our employees to the highest standards and have a strict, no tolerance policy for alcohol," United Airlines said.

"These pilots were immediately removed from service and we are fully cooperating with local authorities. At this time, we are working to get our customers back on their journey as soon as possible."

The two men remain in police custody pending a court appearance on Tuesday.