Members of the Joint Select Committee (JSE) on State Enterprises have asked executives of the state owned Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) to explain why a pilot employed to the airline made 100 free trips in one year – on personal business.
The issue was raised on Tuesday during a sitting of the committee when members of the airline’s executive appeared before the committee.
“Someone is using CAL as Air-Uber. This smacks of abuse of privilege,” said Chairman of the JSC, Independent Senator David Small who made reference to documents which showed that the pilot made the trips using a “jump-seat”.
CAL’s vice-president, Human Resources, Hyacinth Guy told the committee that all employees are entitled to 20 trips per year.
She said an analysis showed that on average, employees use between six and eight flights adding that the use of the jump-seat was industry practice and Human Resources would not have had sight of the frequency of flights used by the particular pilot.
She told the committee that in some cases some members of staff work in Trinidad but live elsewhere and could be utilizing the privilage an option, so it might not necessarily be an abuse of the system.
In response, Small said the JSC will have some clear recommendations for the airline although the number of flights taken by the employee may not have impacted on the revenue of the airline.
CAL’s chairman Shameer Mohammed who was also present at the sitting of the committee, said he too was concerned about the frequency in which some employees used the carrier.