Flight attendant

Budget airline says only 'lightweight women' need apply

Written by Peter Harris
Posted on July 17, 2013

Can you imagine if WestJet, Air Canada or Porter suddenly announced that from now on they were only going to hire slender women to be their flight attendants? I predict that there would be a considerable public outcry. Well that’s just what one discount airline has said that it will be doing from now on.

Low cost airline, GoAir of India has released a new hiring policy stating that moving forward they will now only hire light-weight female flight attendants to crew their flights. It will stop hiring men altogether.

Apparently this will help them improve efficiency and keep the costs down for passengers. The rationale? Women weigh less than men, and thin women weigh less than larger women, so this new hiring policy will help the airline save on fuel costs.

GoAir estimates that it costs about a 0.03 cents for every to fly each extra pound of weight per hour of flying time. They say that this can save them as much as to $500,000 a year in flight costs.

They’re not the first to make an employment issue out of their flight staff’s weight. Back in 2010 Turkish Airlines gave 28 members of its cabin crew six months to lose weight or face termination. Thai Airways also issued a Body Mass Index standard that employees had to meet in order to keep their jobs.

So is this discrimination or simple efficiency? Do you think that companies should be allowed to make hiring decisions based on candidate’s gender or body type if they can show a clear financial reason for the bias? Tell us what you think!

Oh, and there are thousands of jobs on Workopolis right now – available for men and women of every shape and size.

Peter Harris

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