A drunk Russian pilot was denied permission to take off from Frankfurt airport, police said.

Airport staff smelt alcohol on the breath of the 49-year-old pilot as he passed through the security checks on Saturday. An alcohol test confirmed their suspicion that the pilot had been drinking, and his blood contained 0.05 per cent alcohol.

The man was charged with endangering air traffic and had to pay a security fee of 1,000 euros.

The Russian carrier, S7 Airlines, provided a replacement pilot and the plane took off for Moscow with an hour’s delay.