A new “airline” whose advertising states that its flights to more than 36 countries will start on November 1st this year, is advertising for staff on its website. However, despite the fact that job candidates are being charged £75 up-front to be considered, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says it has never heard of the airline – and trading standards is trying to identify the people behind it. The address is actually a private residential address in Taunton, whose occupant was shocked that his address was being used in such a way.
The website directs potential cabin crew, ground and customer care staff to its Fair Academy website which offers theory courses in India and Switzerland, and practical courses in the UK. The site states that training registration costs £75, plus an optional £250 for food and accommodation if training in India.
Binod Hyoju, from Nepal, who applied for a post, said: "When they asked for £250 I was really shocked that this company is asking for money for a job. I didn't send money because it was my suspicion that it was like a scam."
Somerset trading standards was tipped off about the website by a complaint from Kathmandu. Team manager Andy Fowler said: "The thought of basing a UK Royal Airline, as it says, in a market town in Somerset is not perhaps a realistic one. Our job now is to work with the internet service providers to identify the individuals behind it. One of our first jobs will be, if we can prove that it's bogus, to get the website taken down."
A spokesman for the CAA said: "In order to operate services legally, UK-based airlines are required to hold both an operating licence and an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) – issued by the CAA. To obtain these, airlines must meet strict criteria to demonstrate that the company is financially sound and is able to deliver services safely.” The spokesman added “The CAA can confirm that Fair Airways holds neither an operating licence nor an AOC, and has not submitted applications for either."
Get Safe Online’s advice is: Be very wary before being tempted to pay an upfront fee to register for employment, as you could be the victim of a scam being perpetrated by advance fee fraudsters.
For Get Safe Online's information and adivce on how to safe jobhunting online, click here.