Airline Has Bad News for 'Fat' Workers

Air India wants its cabin crew to be in shape
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2015 5:20 PM CDT
Airline to 'Fat' Cabin Workers: You're Grounded
In this July 30, 2007 file photo, Indian air cabin attendants explain the facilities available to First Class travelers in Air India's Boeing 777-200 LR passenger jet.   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh, file)

Air India has bad news for crew members it deems "overweight": Time for you to find a new job. The airline is planning to cut 125 workers after warning several hundred of them last year that it was time to get in shape, the BBC reports. Those who didn't trim down to the weight requirement are being told to leave, though Air India insists this is about fitness level, not weight per se: "People who are fitter can respond quicker and more efficiently in case of any untoward situation," an Air India official tells the Telegraph. For the record, aviation regulations define normal body mass index as 18-25 for male cabin workers and 18-22 for females.

But national union leader Tapan Sen says there's no strict weight requirement in the service rules for cabin workers, and a member of the All India Cabin Crew Association says it's "ridiculous" to cut employees this way. "Any industry insider would vouch that Air India flight attendants are the best, mainly because of their long experience," the member says. "So, this guideline and the management's decision to follow it to the letter is unacceptable." Just two years ago, Air India said it could save about half a million dollars in overall costs annually by hiring female flight attendants, because their average weight is between 33 and 44 pounds less than a man's, the Telegraph reported at the time. (More Air India stories.)

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