Air India CMD cracks down on thieving staff
With regular complaints of crew pilfering alcohol, caviar tins, cheese and other expensive items from planes, Ashwani Lohani, the new chairman and MD of debt-laden Air India (AI), has read the riot act to employees.business Updated: Oct 06, 2015 11:21 IST
With regular complaints of crew pilfering alcohol, caviar tins, cheese and other expensive items from planes, Ashwani Lohani, the new chairman and MD of debt-laden Air India (AI), has read the riot act to employees.
Lohani wants a zero tolerance policy on crew caught stealing stuff from flights, sources said.
According to officials, a new set of rules may soon be drafted which would include immediate termination of contractual employees caught pilfering goods and hefty fines for regular ones.
“Anything on board to be served to passengers, whether it is alcohol, chocolates or cheese is company property,” a senior airline official said. “If you steal company property strict action would follow. We won’t even hesitate to file police complaints against erring employees. Recently, a few crew members caught stealing were off-rostered and heavily penalised.”
A couple of years back, the aviation ministry had informed Parliament of several cases, including a flight purser being caught by customs at the Delhi airport while trying to take out 372 mini liquor bottles from aircraft and missing caviar tins costing Rs 20,200 from a special charter flight.
“The new CMD has laid a lot of emphasis on cutting unnecessary costs,” the official said. “Also, the number of daily upgrades to business and first class, which earlier used to cross 50-a-day, has come down to less than five.”
“AI for long needed a strong leader and there could have been no better choice than Lohani. Under Lohani, AI has probably its best chance yet to turnaround into a world class airline,” aviation expert Subhash Goyal said.
Lohani, popularly known as the turnaround specialist, works seven-days-a-week and is the PMO’s pick for the top job at Air India. “He is the most accessible boss that we have had in years. He is very down to earth and calls himself the head worker. There is a lot of positivity in the organisation since he has joined,” a senior official said.