Air India to stop ‘companion free scheme’ for employees

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The government Wednesday directed national carrier Air India to stop the “companion free (travel) scheme” (CFS) which allowed its employees to take their spouse or any other family member for free on the fare of a single ticket.

The airline has also filed a police report against one of its officials who is alleged to have issued a large number of tickets based on this scheme.

Under the scheme, passengers buying first class or business class tickets or full fare economy class tickets were entitled to one free ticket for their companion.

“This action was taken following the detection of irregularities. Vigilance Department of Air India earlier discovered serious irregularities and misuse of CFS from October, 2011 to April, 2012, for tickets issued at Delhi Airport,” the civil aviation ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, from a sample of 332 CFS tickets issued at Delhi Airport terminal-III, irregularities were found in 196 tickets.

“Similar irregularities have been detected in the CFS tickets issued at Chandigarh,” the statement said.

The ministry said Air India has filed a police report report against its traffic assistant Rajesh Sharma, who has been suspended.

“Airport manager (Delhi) has been directed to lodge FIR (first information report) against all other errant officials. Besides the vigilance department has advised the commercial director, Air India to verify the CFS tickets issued on all-India basis and to initiate action against erring employees,” the statement added.

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