Air India is a steal as far as the staff go. Filching liquor and caviar, flying for others while on AI rolls, inflated bills … you name it and they're doing it.
The vigilance department of the national carrier, which probes financial and other irregularities, has initiated action and investigations into 161 such cases, aviation minister Ajit Singh told Parliament Wednesday.Struggling with the ongoing pilot strike that is costing it Rs 10 crore a day, debt-laden AI even at the best of times has been living off taxpayers’ money. But that hasn't deterred the staff.
A senior pilot pocketed Rs. 2.2 crore in flying and simulator allowance even though he was grounded for medical reasons.
Customs staff at the Delhi's IGI airport caught a flight purser trying to take away 372 mini-liquor bottles from an aircraft. A catering officer was found with Rs. 20, 200 worth of caviar tins that were missing from a special charter flight.
But the shenanigan that beats all is that of a pilot caught flying for another airline while on the rolls of AI. Besides these eye-popping incidents, the minister in his written reply gave a long list of other irregularities.
Selection of five-star hotels in New York, Chicago and Mumbai for cockpit crew was done without following the tender procedure. Bills were raised at a Delhi airport restaurant for delayed departure even though the flight was on time.
Official position was misused to upgrade relatives and friends, causing a loss of revenue. Bogus attendance, inflated overtime claims, too, have been found.