Minister for Civil Aviation Stops ˜Companion Free Scheme™ After Air India Discovers Serious Irregularities

The Civil Aviation Minister, Shri Ajit Singh has directed the CMD, Air India to stop the Companion Free Scheme with immediate effect. This action was taken following the detection of irregularities .The Vigilance Department of Air India earlier discovered serious irregularities and misuse of Companion Free Scheme (CFS) in Air India while scrutinizing the CFS data from October, 2011 to April, 2012, for tickets issued at Delhi Airport. In a sample of 332 CFS tickets issued at Delhi Airport Terminal-III, irregularities were found in 196 tickets, These irregularities include:-

1. CFS tickets have been issued without any full-fare ticket.
2. Main tickets were cancelled after issuance/use of CFS tickets.
3. For domestic CFS tickets the accompanying passenger should be spouse, child or parent this stipulation has not been followed.
4. Main tickets and CFS tickets do not have the cross reference.
5. Outbound journey was not undertaken together by main and CFS ticket pax.
6. CFS tickets were issued on a sector different from the main ticket routing.

Similar irregularities have also been detected in the CFS tickets issued at Chandigarh where 435 tickets were scrutinized. In the CFS tickets issued at Delhi, the agent code of one particular employee, Shri Rajesh Sharma, Traffic Assistant, is featuring in large number of tickets.He issued about 130 fraudulent CFS tickets in the sample check at Delhi Airport Terminal-III. An FIR has been lodged by Air India Airport Manager against Shri Rajesh Sharma and he has been placed under suspension. Airport Manager has been directed to lodge FIR 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.

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


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