Thursday, October 12, 2006

If this air hostess puts on 2lb she risks losing her job

New Delhi: Sheela Joshi was trying to get some sleep before her next flight when Indian Airlines officials approached her with an unusual request.
They wanted to weigh her. When they found out that the 48-year-old air hostess was over the company’s regulation weight of 63kg (10st), they grounded her without pay.
Ms Joshi is now taking India’s state carrier to court, accusing it of trying to revamp its image by replacing older — and heavier — stewardesses with younger, thinner recruits.
The High Court in Delhi is due to rule next month on a petition by Ms Joshi and ten other stewardesses demanding that the airline should reverse its new zero tolerance policy on overweight crew.
The stewardesses, who are among 140 aircrew who have been grounded in recent months for being overweight, also want the airline to pay the staff salaries in full when they are not permitted to fly for this reason.
The dispute reflects the growing competition between India’s state airline and a host of private carriers that have opened since the country began liberalising its economy 15 years ago.
One of them, Kingfisher Airlines, boasts openly that it has the country’s most beautiful stewardesses and kits them out with short skirts and high heels.
12/10/06 The Times, UK
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