AI To Be Forced To Ground 130 ‘Obese’ Flight Attendants
The India air regulator has refused to relax strict rules on 'overweight' cabin crew members and will ground 130 flight attendants at Air India.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation turned down a request by AI to allow it to retain flight attendants classified as overweight.
Most of the 130 crew members are female. The DGCA said the rules governing the ideal 'Body Mass Index' for crew members was drawn up on 'technical and efficiency grounds.'
Two years ago the regulator gave notice to all domestic airlines to rate all flight attendants as 'normal,' 'overweight' or 'obese' and ensure 'unfit' crew members lost weight within 18 months. Air India said it identified 600 FAs as 'obese' and gave them an ultimatum to reduce weight.
Last year Air India said 130 of these had failed to lose enough weight and asked the DGCA to relent as many were senior crew members. This was refused after 'long deliberations over safety concerns,' it said.
"The option before us now is either to ground the cabin crew members falling short of the weight standards or to ask them to opt for voluntary retirement," an airline official said.