Air India Pilot Suspended For Allegedly Shoplifting A Wallet At Sydney Airport Duty Free Shop

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According to media reports and a circulating document Air India has suspended one of their pilots as he was caught shoplifting a wallet at one of Sydney Airport’s Duty Free outlets.

Allegedly, the pilot let one of the wallets on display “fall into his pockets” and police confronted him on board the aircraft where he returned the merchandise and then took off with a delay.

This comes as a new addition to the misconduct of Air India cockpit crew in recent times, but the company took swift action this time.

Our reader Sanjiv forwarded us an article of the Hindustan Times in India where the matter was being published.

Air India on Sunday suspended a senior pilot for allegedly shoplifting at Sydney airport on Saturday. According to the suspension order accessed by Hindustan Times, the pilot was supposed to fly AI 301 on June 22 and is alleged to have lifted goods from a Duty free shop there….

According to an Air India official, the regional manager of the Australia informed about the case to the headquarters and though the pilot was allowed to fly, he was handed over his suspension as soon as he arrived at the Delhi airport. …

“Air India lays the highest stress on proper conduct of its staff and has a zero tolerance policy towards acts of impropriety. There is an initial report of one of its captains Rohit Bhasin, who is also working as a regional director, picking up a wallet from a duty free shop in Sydney. Air India has instituted an enquiry into this incident and has placed the Captain under suspension,” Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said.

According to an Air India official, the regional manager of the Australia informed about the case to the headquarters and though the pilot was allowed to fly, he was handed over his suspension as soon as he arrived at the Delhi airport.

He has been asked to submit his licence and not to leave his base station, which is Kolkata.

Ouch. Why someone on the salary of a captain would resort to shoplifting is really beyond me. That’s a very lucrative position and being a captain for Air India is a very prestigious job at that in the country.

Sanjiv forwarded us a document that is apparently the internal Air India Suspension Order:

The document wasn’t part of the original published article, even though it was mentioned in it.

The incident took place on June 22nd 2019, so definitely an extremely fast action by Air India management as the pilot was apparently served this notice upon arrival to Delhi.

Interesting that the company apparently has the authority to restrict the movements of the employee and banish him to Kolkata for the time being.

Conclusion

Without going too much into this, I’m sure there is a surveillance tape that shows exactly what happened. That being said, maybe he got distracted and “thought” he already paid for it and then went his way which might very well have happened here. Who knows…

In any case it’s very embarrassing for Air India and damaging to it’s reputation when their pilots get caught in the act shoplifting at destinations around the world.

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