Air India ground staffers and officers coming in to prepare the aircraft for the next flight, often take away food, beverages and other dry store items like sugar sachets, tea bags, mustard sauce, sauce bottles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, writing paper and pens. This has come under the scanner and staff members found indulging in these practices can face suspension.
“Often on arrival of the aircraft, ground staff and other officers take out for their personal consumption unserved food and dry stores. Officials found indulging in such practice should be summarily placed under suspension. Regional directors shall ensure supervision and action. Executive director (security) and chief vigilance officer shall also conduct surprise inspections,” says an order issued by Ashwani Lohani, the chairman and managing director of Air India.
While the security tries to stop the staffers from taking away these food items, they find it difficult to do so. A security official told Times Of India, “It has led to numerous arguments in the past between security personnel and ground staff. Meal trays that have not been touched, fruit juice and milk cartons and opened boxes of tea bags are left in the galley. Before its locked into the food cart and loaded onto the high lift and taken to stores, ground staff who enter the aircraft do away with some goods.” He also added that they consume it in their offices and if stopped they claimed that they took them for their superiors.
The spokesperson for Air India, Dhananjay Kumar told Times Of India that they are trying to rid the airlines of corruption. “We’re working towards making national carrier Air India corruption-free. When the management learnt about such practices, it took cognizance of the matter. Regular surprise inspections are being carried out through the airline network.”