We’ve heard of weight limits on luggage but Air India have now taken things one step further, announcing plans to ground 130 flight attendants considered too heavy to fly.
The airline plans to remove the overweight members of staff from cabin duty because their body mass index (BMI) levels are above the prescribed limit.
The NHS says a ‘healthy’ BMI (a measure of body fat based on a person’s height and weight) is between 18.5 and 24.9, but Air India claim that the ‘normal’ BMI for an air hostess is between 18 and 22, and 18 to 25 for male attendants.
Last year, Air India warned 600 of its 3,500 cabin crew to lose weight within six months or risk being taken off flights and given a job on the ground, and it looks as though they’re definitely prepared to follow through on those threats!
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, an Air India official said:
About 130 of them failed the reassessment. We are now declaring them permanently unfit for their job as flight attendants. People who are fitter can respond quicker and more efficiently in case of any untoward situation.
A member of the All India Cabin Crew Association said the grounding of 130 staff was ‘ridiculous’, adding:
Any industry insider would vouch that Air India flight attendants are the best, mainly because of their long experience. So, this guideline and the management’s decision to follow it to the letter is unacceptable.
This is actually not the first time the airline has removed staff from duty for being overweight. In 2009, they grounded 10 flight attendants for failing to slim down. Ruthless!