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  #1  
Old 07-23-2005, 05:48 AM
MattK MattK is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 1,061
Default Global Peace Initiative: Fails to pay employees

747's permit to fly pulled

By Julio Gomes - The Chronicle-Journal

July 21, 2005

The Boeing 747 jet that arrived in Thunder Bay last week may be shrouded in mystery and trailing allegations of skipping out on its bills, but local airport officials aren’t yet worried they won’t see their money.

“It’s not the first airplane to land at the airport with a spotty history. That’s something that happens. This is now of (media) interest because it’s a larger airplane, but it’s not all that uncommon an occurrence,” Ed Schmidtke, manager of business development at Thunder Bay International Airport, said Wednesday.

A 747-SP (special performance) jumbo jet landed at the airport last Wednesday from Cincinnati. Dubbed Global Peace One, the aircraft is operated by Global Peace Initiative, a Houston-based humanitarian relief organization.

This type of aircraft has the ability to land on shorter runways than larger cargo or passenger jets. It’s the first 747 that Schmidtke’s seen land in Thunder Bay in his 15 years at the airport.

When it takes off is uncertain. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has pulled its permit to fly on the basis of failing to comply with airworthiness directives and improper maintenance.

“The aircraft now has no legal basis on which to fly,” FAA spokesman Paul Turk confirmed Wednesday.

Transport Canada officials were unavailable for comment.

GPI was founded in 1999 by Dr. K.A. Paul, an India-born Christian evangelist who formed Gospel to the Unreached Millions in 1993 to organize rallies in Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

In March 2004, the refurbished 747-SP was turned over to GPI. Since then, it has flown to the Middle East and areas of southeast Asia ravaged by December’s tsunami.

One member of the flight crew said the plane made a recent visit to Syria and Libya with just Paul and an assistant on board.

“It was a giant waste of money,” Ann Meili told The Chronicle-Journal.

She works as a corporate flight attendant and served on six flights aboard Global Peace One. Her work allowed her to see the inner workings of Paul and GPI.

“They just don’t pay,” Meili said from her Florida home. “They owe me money, they owe my entire crew money, they owe their director of PR (public relations) money.”

On June 22, a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County alleging GPI and several of its officers breached a contract to fly 92 people to Poland for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and then to Israel for a week’s stay.

The lawsuit on behalf of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces alleges they paid $800,000 for space on the 90-seat plane, but the flight didn’t take place. They are asking for more than $9 million in damages.

“Though GPI and (Gospel to the Unreached Millions) are ostensibly charitable organizations, they are merely conduits that permit monies from contributors and donors to flow to the individually named defendants, leaving the corporations without sufficient working capital to pay creditors,” the lawsuit claims.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Meili was to act as purser on that proposed flight. She said she has been privy to conference calls and e-mails involving Paul and GPI, and is concerned that Thunder Bay airport won’t be paid.

Global Peace One incurred a $2,800 fee to land in Thunder Bay and has been billed, Schmidtke said. If the plane stays the anticipated four weeks on the tarmac, it’ll rack up $2,000 in additional fees.

Schmidtke said airport officials will make every effort to collect the bill.

“We’re going to go every distance to make sure we get paid — guaranteed. That’s what we have to do,” he said. “But exactly how and where this finishes, I don’t know that.”

Repeated calls to Paul and a GPI spokesman have gone unanswered.

http://www.chroniclejournal.com/story.shtml?id=28157
  #2  
Old 07-23-2005, 10:36 AM
Flight Star Flight Star is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 104
Default GPI and No bucks

First all flight attendants for GPI are volunteers. The cockpit crews used to be volunteers also but now GPI pays the cockpit crew. But they are cheap, the last crew got $100 an hour block to block for left seat. This is the plane that took me on the Axis of Evil Tour!
  #3  
Old 07-23-2005, 02:28 PM
undashflyer undashflyer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: YYJ (Victoria, BC)
Posts: 24
Default

Oh Ann those were the days eh?

Just think, we will always have Kadafi's private airstrip and the Airlines Hotel!

Love you lots!

M.
  #4  
Old 07-29-2005, 10:19 AM
Joyride Joyride is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: IL
Posts: 4
Default

I had been contacted by GPI to fly for them awhile back. It didn't work out with my schedule, so I couldn't do it at the time. From what I was told I did understand it was unpaid, but I was expected to pay my own way to commercial out to the plane, pay my hotel if I flew out the night before, plus pay for my own hotel and expenses in Ethiopia, and then submit expense reports for reimbursement. I think this may be why the company owes its 'volunteer' employees money. As an aside, from talking with a flight attendant who did do the flight, 'Dr.' Paul, is not a doctor of anything, he just likes to call himself that, apparently to command more respect. (Is that legal?) I've also heard that he tries to manipulate the flight crew for contributions to his cause.
  #5  
Old 07-29-2005, 06:40 PM
Flight Star Flight Star is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 104
Default GPI

I was on this last trip. GPI paid for hotels, paid for commercial flights to get to the plane and paid for meals. They commercialed everyone home from Mumbai with a round trip ticket. The people they owe are the Dir of PR who took a job with GPI for the summer as during the school year she is a college professor. She was a paid employee. They owe some of the crew for catering and parts. Dr Paul has an honorary doctorate from some university. He has never asked anyone on my crews to donate to his cause. The two tsunami trips earlier this year the crews airline tickets were paid. However, they did like using Frontier flight attendants since they could jumpseat and there was not cost for a plane ticket. Granted there have been times when the hotel arrangements on trips were not paid in advance. But they always got settled.
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