Indian government issues new ‘too fat to fly’ rule for cabin crew

In this photograph dated 23 August 2006, an instructor (L) familiarises Indian cabin crew students with the cockpit inside an Airbus A-300 aircraft stationed at the campus of the Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training in New Delhi. RAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

Indian airline staff have slammed new government rules that could see crew members suspended from work for being overweight, according to Britain’s Daily Mail.

The guidelines, issued by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), state that any cabin crew members whose weight falls outside the “normal” body mass index (BMI) could be declared “unfit” and removed from work.

According to the British tabloid, the agency claims the new rules are a measure to increase passenger safety, as staff who aren’t “fit and healthy” are less able to carry out their duties in an emergency situation.

But cabin crew from across India have called the rules “crazy” and “discriminatory,” saying it could impact 600 workers across the country, the majority from Air India, the Daily Mail reported.

“The guidelines are arbitrary and discriminatory. They just can’t wake up one fine morning and make some crazy rules citing flimsy reasons,” an official from the All India Cabin Crew Association said. “Air India’s cabin crew has had a perfect safety record with the way we have been all along. Do they mean to say that all emergencies till now were handled by unfit crew?”

According to the Daily Mail, the DGCA plans to conduct regular check-ups on cabin crew to ensure they fall within the “normal” BMI.

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