Paul Greaney QC, who was defending jailed PIA pilot, Irfan Faiz, told the court his client was not a heavy drinker but was under a lot of stress at the time because of a kidnap threat against his family back home.
The court heard that the defendant is from a prominent family in Pakistan.
Mr Greaney also told the judge that, despite being an experienced pilot, Faiz was not aware of the drink-fly rules in the UK.
The court heard that Faiz was an experienced and well-respected pilot with 25 years' experience and an unblemished record.
Faiz admitted a charge of carrying out an ancillary aviation function while impaired by alcohol, contrary to the Railways and Transport Act 2003, at a previous hearing.
Pakistan International Airlines have released a statement about their pilot, Ifran Faiz, who was jailed for nine months after admitting he attempted to fly a plane, despite being three times over the limit for drinking and flying:
An experienced pilot who was found to be more than three times the permitted alcohol level as he was about to fly an Airbus with 145 passengers on board to Pakistan has been jailed for nine months.
The judge sentencing Irfan Faiz, 55, said it was "extraordinary" that the rules in Pakistan only stated that there should be a 12-hour gap between "bottle and throttle", no matter how much the pilot had drunk.
Father-of-two Faiz was breath-tested at Leeds Bradford Airport on September 18 as he was undergoing pre-flight checks in an Airbus 310 with 145 passengers and 11 crew on board.
He was about to pilot the PIA 776 flight to Islamabad when he was asked to leave the cockpit due to concerns raised by security staff who said he smelled of drink and was unsteady on his feet.
The pilot told police he had consumed three-quarters of a bottle of whisky but had stopped drinking at about 3am. He was arrested before the flight which was due to depart at 10.10pm.
A pilot with 25 years experience has been jailed for nine months after admitting to being drunk in charge of a flight that was about to take off from Leeds Bradford International airport.
54 year-old Irfan Faiz, was three times over the limit allowed for drinking and flying, unsteady on his feet and smelt of alcohol when he was arrested in September.
The Pakistan International Airlines flight was supposed to take off from Leeds Bradford to Pakistan, carrying nearly 200 passengers.
Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) has been awarded best airport with up to 6 million passengers at the annual Airport Operators Association (AOA) awards ceremony, which took place in London this week.
Leeds Bradford Airport has recorded a major traffic milestone with the announcement that it has broken its 3 million rolling year passenger figure, according to latest figures from the Civil Aviation Authority*.
Passenger traffic was up by an impressive 19.6%* in May and 12.9% in June compared to the same months last year.
Commenting on this notable milestone, Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s Marketing Director, said: “LBA’s significant increase in passenger traffic and extended route and airline choice for 2013 is particularly pleasing in such a competitive marketplace. "