AN airline is investigating its laundry service after reports that most of
the blankets they sent for washing were merely repackaged before being
According to a report in the Beijing Times, a worker at the Beijing Yingtailong Airline Appliance Co said the company washed just 20 percent of the blankets used by passengers on China Southern Airlines flights and no disinfectants were used.
"Our Beijing unit is investigating the issue and Yingtailong denied what the media report said," a spokesman for China Southern, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, said yesterday.
Yingtailong is in charge of washing blankets and towels for China Southern's Beijing base. The spokesman said the carrier conducted regular checks on such companies.
However, the newspaper said that Yingtailong only washed blankets with obvious stains while the rest were simply packed for reuse.
The worker said that although the airline was supposed to conduct random checks, he hadn't seen that happen for several months.
"We decided whether the blankets needed to be washed or not," another worker said. From about 2,400 blankets sent to the company each day, workers selected just 500 to be washed, the newspaper said.
The airline needed more than 2,000 blankets, 3,000 towels, hundreds of sheets and dozens of aircrew clothes washed each day, but that was beyond the laundry's capacity, the newspaper said.
Yingtailong issued a statement last night saying it strictly followed rules and requirements of handling textile goods on planes.
The company said it would conduct an inquiry and correct any irregularities found, but would also retain the right to ascertain who was responsible for false reports.
Zhang Wu'an, a spokesman for Shanghai-based Spring Airlines, told Shanghai Daily that it had its own department in charge of washing and disinfecting blankets.
An Air China official in charge of cabin service at its Shanghai base said the carrier's Beijing headquarters selected blanket-washing companies through national bidding.
"We choose big companies rather than small workshops to handle our onboard supplies, and our blankets for passengers are all clean and disinfected," the official said.