In what appears to be a unique incident for the airlines industry worldwide,more than 800 meal trolleys belonging to the Pakistan International Airlines have gone “missing” at domestic and international airports.
The price of a trolley ranges between USD 200-400 dollars and the total number of missing trolleys is worth millions of rupees,sources said.
“The trolleys went missing from different domestic and international airports during the past two years,” an official report said.
PIA’s management has informed the board of directors that action is underway against those responsible.
However,no responsibility has been fixed as yet.
The board has taken strong exception to the matter and observed that a report prepared by the airline’s chief internal auditor on the missing trolleys has not been made in collaboration with the external auditor.
Interestingly,PIA’s management had apprised the board during a meeting that the issue of missing trolleys was “due to not updating the inventory record which has been reconciled with the physical number (of trolleys)”.
However,the board directed the management to carry out a proper investigation and circulate its report to the directors.
According to PIA’s catering department,the trolleys went missing along with catering materials,thus causing more loss to the national carrier,which is already in a financial mess.
“Under-staffing and poor checks have been major reasons of the theft of such a large number of trolleys,” a source said.
The meal trolleys were mostly stolen at foreign stations,where PIA’s management had “virtually no control” on different departments,the source said.
The source blamed non-professionalism in the catering department for the theft,saying several heads of the department had been replaced during the past few years.
PIA spokesman Sultan Hasan said an investigation was underway as the airlines’ audit had detected the disappearance of the trolleys.
“Those responsible will not escape punishment,” he said.