Too fat to fly? 600 Air India air hostesses found over weight

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has left 600 Air India air hostesses in a lurch as they were found overweight and unfit for flying, according to the DGCA's new requirements on body weight, vision and hearing.

hidden May 14, 2014 15:28:16 IST
Too fat to fly? 600 Air India air hostesses found over weight

Mumbai: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has left 600 Air India air hostesses in a lurch as they were found overweight and unfit for flying, according to the DGCA's new requirements on body weight, vision and hearing.

According to a Mumbai Mirror report,the air hostesses were declared 'temporarily unfit for six months'. The report said, "If they fail to improve in 18 months, they will be declared as permanently unfit. A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 25 is categorised as normal for males, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, while 30 and above is categorised as obese. For women, a normal BMI would fall between 18 and 22, while 22 to 27 is considered overweight and above 27 points to obesity."

Too fat to fly 600 Air India air hostesses found over weight

Image used for representation purpose. Reuters

Moreover, staff would be put through regular medical examinations until the age of 40. The tests would be made more regular for air hostesses who were 50-years and above. They examinations would include physical and mental tests, in addition to visual, colour
perception and hearing tests. Crew members with any abnormality or disability or injury would also not be allowed to fly.

According to the report, the All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) has declared that they are not licensed by the aviation regulator and hence cannot be forced to follow its directives.

The report quoted DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar as saying, "We have received their mail and are looking into it. We hope the requirements are followed and weight-reduction is done through a combination of diet, exercise and life-style change and not by drastic methods like medication and surgery."

Earlier in April, Indian Airlines had sacked three of its air hostesses for being overweight. According to a Times of India report, Justice Rajiv Shakdher of Delhi High Court had directed the airlines to reinstate the sacked employees.

The report said, "HC directed IA to take back in service the women with full back wages and all consequential benefits, rejecting the argument of the airlines that contract for appointment itself made it clear that excess weight will lead to dismissal."

The women who were reinstated chose to continue work as ground staff instead  of flying.

The airlines defended their action - according to the report, they said, "even if the women were medically fit, to continue with their services it could be terminated under the terms of the contract upon their failure to maintain weight as per prescribed limits."

The AICCA records show that Air India has close to 1,500 cabin crew members who are above 40 yeas of age. The fate of these employees still remains uncertain.

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