A very senior pilot of Mihin Lanka carried his personal weighing scale on two of his flights from Colombo to Sharjah and back, to trap suspected ground staff colleagues of the airline at the gulf station, who he claims were permitting excess baggage to selected passengers, which made the airline lose millions of rupees in revenue that also impacted the overall flight safety, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.
“Ground staff of certain airlines around the world are noted to be involved in rackets of this nature as regular travelers opt to pay unscrupulous airline employees monies illegally to have their excess baggage waved off. Moreover it is a flight safety risk of not accounting the exact weight weight distribution and also for refueling purposes” confirmed a Mihin Lanka employee on condition of anonymity. He also went on to sate that most airlines carry spot checks in these areas and in the budget airline’s case it is mandatory that this is seriously looked into.
The senior pilot operated back to back flights on the 24th and 31st of July 2014 from Colombo to Sharjah and back and on both occasions got his operating flight attendants to identify large cabin baggage that passengers were bringing on board.
The pilot in his first report informed the airline that a particular bag weighing 32 kg had slipped through among many other carry on baggage that weighed well over the airline’s permitted limit.
In his second report he complained that over 15 bags were carried by passengers on board weighing over 15 kgs each.
The airline employee who wished to remain anonymous stated that this a serious issue that warrants immediate action. “We already have cabin crew who are not assigned flying duties relating to injuries sustained on board due to assisting passengers with the carriage of these heavy bags that requires to be stowed in the over head compartments. Further as a low cost carrier, every paid kilo gram of excess baggage brought on board is of valuable revenue” concluded the employee.
A passenger whose details were also furnished by the pilot in his report, had stated that monies had been exchanged between travelers and ground staff without the issuance of receipts.
The two voyage reports were addressed by the pilot to the airline’s Director Flight Operations Capt. Pujitha Jayakody, who himself had once been arrested by the Singaporean police for shoplifting whilst on official duty.
However it is reported that the airline had not taken any action still.
Published below is the Pilot’s two Voyage Reports.
VR – 407/408 DD 24/07/15
STD OMSJ 1750 UTC / ATA 1745 UTC
SLOT TIME 1931 UTC ( 1HR 30MNTS ON GROUND)
GROUND STAFF ARRIVED AT A/C AT 1810Z ON REQ VIA ONBOARD MOBILE PHN.
G/STAFF WERE BRIEFED REG FSI 0092 DD 24/07/15 ( GUIDELINES/ SLOT ) WHERE IT STATES ” ALL STATIONS INSTRUCTED TO STRICTLY FOLLOW GUIDELINES”. HOWEVER BOTH STAFF MEMBERS STATED THEY WERE NOT IN RECEIPT OF SUCH.
GUIDELINES WERE ISSUED BY PIC REG BOARDING / EXCESS HAND ETC. DUE 196 PAX, A RANDOM CHECK ON CABIN BAGS WAS CARRIED OUT AND FOUND SEVERAL PIECES WEIGHING OVER 32KGS ! IT IS SHOCKING HOW SUCH HEAVY PEICES ARE ALLOWED ONBOARD DESPITE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN ON SO MANY OCCASIONS.
G/STAFF CLAIMS THEY ARE INSTRUCTED TO ALLOW ALL PAX 10KGS EACH NOW ( FLT CREW HAVE NO SUCH INSTRUCTIONS ) EVEN SO, HOW COME 32KGS WERE ACCEPTED ? OTHER AIRLINES OPERATING OUT OF THIS STATION ARE STRANGELY NOT PLAGUED BY THIS SERIOUS THREAT TO AVIATION. PROPER ACTION IS NEEDED AS INSTRUCTIONS ARE BEING VIOLATED WITH IMPUNITY.
THE TECH / CABIN CREW WERE THREATENED WITH FURTHER SLOT DELAYS IF BAGS WERE WEIGHED STATING THAT SLOT TIMES EXCEEDING 2 HRS WOULD BE REQUIRED IF DONE ! THE PIC ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE BUT ENSURED THE AC PUSHED BACK ON TIME WITH A FULL LOAD OF PAX. KINDLY ADVISE MS INOKA TO STOP INTIMIDATING FLT CREW IN FUTURE.
SHALL AWAIT THE OUTCOME OF THIS REPORT. ASR FILED.
VR – 407/8 – 31/7/15
THIS IS THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE VOYAGE REPORT ( PREVIOUS DD 24th JULY ’15) RAISED ON A SERIOUS SAFETY RELATED MATTER ON THE VIOLATION OF LAID DOWN INSTRUCTIONS ( FSI 042 ) & COMPANY / INTL REGULATIONS ON THE CARRIAGE OF HAND LUGGAGE.
MJ 407 ARRVD 15MNTS AHEAD OF SCHD AT SHJ ( 1740Z ) BUT THE COMPANY STAFF ARRIVED AT AIRCRAFT AT 1905 Z ( 1hr 25mnts AFTER ARRIVAL ). IS THIS THE COMPANY POLICY ?
DUE SLOT OF 2012Z, REQUESTED PAX BOARDING AS PER FSI 092. WITH A FULL LOAD OF 196 PAX, THERE WAS A SEVERE SHORTAGE OF SPACE FOR HAND LUGGAGE AS SEVERAL PASSENGERS WERE CARRYING IN EXCESS OF TWO HEAVY BAGS ( NOT DUTY FREE) ! 15 BAGS WEIGHED IN EXCESS OF 15KGS EACH ( PLS SEE CABIN VR FOR DETAILS) AND HAD TO BE RETRIEVED. HAS THE COMPANY POLICY CHANGED ? SOME PASSENGERS OBJECTED, CLAIMING THEY HAD PAID AS MUCH AS AED 300. NO RECEIPTS BUT CLAIMED THAT THE MONEY WAS COLLECTED BY MINOR STAFF AT BAGGAGE LOADING ON THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE ‘LADY’. PAX SEAT NO 33B Mr CHINTAKA (MOBILE. +941 472236300) CONFIRMED THAT CASH WAS COLLECTED FROM SEVERAL PASSENGERS.
THIS MATTER NEEDS TO BE QUERIED ASAP. IT HAS BEEN OBVIOUS TO ALL CONCERNED THAT A SERIOUS MALPRACTICE EXISTS, BLEEDING THE AIRLINE OF MUCH NEEDED REVENUE AND CREATING A SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE ENDANGERING THE LIVES OF ALL ONBOARD.
IF HAND LUGGAGE REGS ARE BEING VIOLATED WITH IMPUNITY, THE CHECKED LUGGAGE VIOLATIONS CAN ONLY BE IMAGINED !
IN THE PRESENCE OF CREW, VERBAL THREATS HAD BEEN LEVELED AT CAPTAINS WHO MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR HER WITH THREAT OF RELEASING PHOTOS ON FB !
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE U/SIGNED HAS HEARD OF SUCH FROM A SUBORDINATE !! IT IS HOPED THAT SUCH BRASH & UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR IS ADDRESSED WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY
IS A ‘PERSONAL BUSINESS’ AFFECTED HERE ?!