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Cathay Pacific to crack down on 'pilferage'

Cathay Pacific plane Image copyright AFP

Cathay Pacific has vowed to act after stories emerged of food, drink and other items being stolen from planes.

Items such as mini tubs of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, bottles of champagne and cutlery are said to have gone missing.

Reports said cabin crew were to blame, but the airline's boss, Rupert Hogg, said the blame may lie elsewhere.

"The bigger issue is a pilferage issue and it may not necessarily be around cabin crew," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We are losing, I don't know, wine or things like that from aircraft or somewhere in the supply chain."

Mr Hogg added that the airline was determined to put a stop to the losses, and added: "We've got support from the unions to do this, let's try to stamp this out."

According to the South China Morning Post, six employees were placed under investigation on Saturday - and face possible disciplinary action - after security spot checks at Hong Kong International Airport.

It added that staff were warned by email earlier in the year about removing items from planes and were told there would be "zero tolerance".

The email added that employees could only take items for personal consumption and could be punished for taking anything else - even if they believed it was going to be thrown away or wasted.

In a statement, the airline said: "In view of an increasing number of reported losses of company property, we have informed our cabin crew that random inspections will be carried out.

"We are dealing with cases in a fair and reasonable manner in accordance with standard internal procedure."

Cathay Pacific has been in dispute with employees before over petty theft.

In 1993, the leader of a three-week strike by crew who wanted improved conditions was sacked after being accused of stealing nuts and a bottle of water.

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