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Airline plans to hire only skinny, female flight attendants to save on fuel

- July 4th, 2013
(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

If you thought airlines charging passengers by weight was outlandish, you’ll want to put your seat and tray in an upright position and buckle in for this: an airline in India has announced plans to hire only thin, female flight attendants in a bid to save money on fuel.

The Times of India reports that going forward, India’s GoAir airline will only hire flight attendants who are thin and female to save on fuel costs. The airline will continue to employ its 130 existing male flight attendants, but estimates that hiring skinny female attendants who weigh 33 to 44 pounds less than their male counterparts will save them up to $500,000 each year.

“The rupee’s fall has hurt the industry badly. All major expenses — aircraft leasing, spare parts and fuel costs — are linked to the dollar. The fall in exchange rate of a rupee costs us Rs 30 crore ($7 million) on an annual basis. We are looking at every possible way of cost-cutting to remain profitable,” GoAir CEO Giorgio De Roni told the Times of India.

He told the publication that what some see as a size- and gender-biased policy is really just about weight on board. The airline estimates that each kilo carried by the aircraft costs 5 cents per hour in fuel.

“We are reducing the weight on board our aircraft,” he said. “The size of inflight magazines has been reduced. The potable water tanks are no longer being filled to capacity as only 35% to 40% of that water is actually used. Now the water tanks are filled 60%.”

There is no word if the airline will also seek to hire thin pilots.

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16 comments

  1. Real life | July 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    anyone who is still in denial and does not see the logical, ergonomics here plus being health requirements of the role, tasks, etc… dang, as a retired HR person and also disabled it has to be. Even me, over qualified and over everything could not get the jobs I wanted because of the reality of the situation in my odd~esy’s. Time to be honest. Logical. Think. I am against discrimination but I breath it. My own fate. cannot have 300 lb ladies or guys walking the aisles. If you have flown you know.

  2. Jeff | July 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    If weight is the ONLY issue, why do they insist on women only? Wouldn’t men who happen to weigh 130 lbs or less be just as acceptable? I suspect the desire to have attractive female attendants, in a male dominated country like India, is also a factor.

  3. Doug W K | July 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Don’t see how a 120Lb male would burn more fuel than a 120 Lb Female. Preference, to see a fit woman rather than a skinny man aside, chalk up another win for the woman who once again are just a bit more equal then men.

  4. Patrick | July 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Lame..what if the girl gains weight during their job, does she get fired?

  5. Courageous | July 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    It’s not discrimination, it’s economics. Basically, hiring a fat person would mean extra costs to the employer, so they should be able to hire who they want.

  6. Dianne | July 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    It’s highly unlikely that there are any 300 lb ladies or gentlemen working as flight attendants. But what about someone who is an average 140-150 lb person who has worked as a flight attendant for years? Are they going to be made obsolete because they only want 110-lb. size 2s?

  7. Bert | July 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Great idea to save money for the airline. Will this save money for the consumer…? not on your life it won’t

  8. Brian | July 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    The last time I flew I was in an aisle seat, and there was a larger flight attendant who bumped her rear into my arm every time she walked past me. There’s not a lot of room on these planes the way they have their seats configured. Skinny makes sense.

  9. BurningCrow | July 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Perhaps they should also make it mandatory for all staff and passengers to have a bowel movement before boarding so as to cut down on the inflight weight.

  10. Leafcommander | July 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    some jobs just seem to fit a stereotype and nothing wrong with that…you cant be 300 lb and join the army…your not going to have a man working at the cosmetic counter…and i dont think ive ever seen a saled rep at La Senza….

  11. Anon | July 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Re: BurningCrow

    I did read somewhere that there’s an airline that “suggests” passengers use the facilities on the ground rather than in the air. I’m sure they tell their staff too.

  12. Nathan Lee | July 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Thin women only? Because of weight issues on the plane? Clothing can add up to allot of weight, too. Just saying…

  13. j | July 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Turn off the air conditioning, hot air is less dense.

  14. Dave H | July 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Sure thing – common sense should outweigh political correctness.

  15. s | July 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    1) an aircraft door weighs about 300 lbs.
    2) the escape slide weighs about 100 lbs.
    In light of that, I would personally prefer a flight attendant who can facilitate an emergency escape over one who is slim and good looking.

  16. Chris | July 16, 2013 at 6:10 am

    I’d accept the economical argument if it said “India’s GoAir airline will only hire flight attendants who are thin to save on fuel costs”, but the addition of “and female” makes this a discrimination issue I’m afraid.

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