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Air India

Crew grounded until they lose weight

15 Sep, 2015

The airline asks 125 of its flight attendants to lose weight or prepare for ground duties. It insists that the move to manage its employees’ physique is not about appearances but because they are concerned about the safety of the staff. A spokesperson does not say how much they have to slim down.

This is an ongoing process. It is an opportunity for them to bring themselves back to the (required) fitness level. If they cannot because of any medical reasons, they will be offered ground duties.

The decision follows fitness guidelines laid out by India’s civil aviation regulator who mandated a body mass index (BMI) of 18-25 for male cabin crew members and 18-22 for female cabin crew members. Men with a BMI over 25, and women with a BMI over 22 were classified as overweight. A “large number” of the employees refuse to undergo medical examinations for their BMI as ordered and instead ask the airline to first pay for gym memberships before conducting any lab tests.