BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Steward flies off the handle
Indian Airlines plane
Indian Airlines says Mr De's moustache is unhygienic
An air steward with Indian Airlines has threatened legal action after they grounded him because of his prominent handlebar shaped moustache.

The purser, Victor Joynath De, refused to trim his moustache in compliance with recently introduced personal conduct rules.


My moustache attracted many adoring eyes inside the plane and on the ground

Victor Joynath De
A spokesman for Indian Airlines said that Mr De's moustache did not conform to regulations and that he had ignored repeated warnings to trim it.

Mr De said he was proud of his moustache which has taken 25 years to grow and now stretches prominently across both cheekbones.

"I never dreamed of trimming it. All the time I worked for the airline, my moustache attracted many adoring eyes inside the plane and on the ground," the AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

But Indian Airlines takes a different view.

It argues that his prized asset is in fact a health risk, especially with him frequently handling food.

The steward - who has worked for Indian Airlines for over 20 years - has now been grounded and is doing a desk job at Calcutta airport in which he deals with passenger complaints.

Unhygienic

Mr De said he was determined to fight against the management decision and has initiated legal proceedings against Indian Airlines.

Steward Victor Joynath De
Mr De is extremely proud of his moustaches
"I liked to fly. It is painful to accept the present situation and I am determined to fight against the decision of the management," he said.

A spokesman for the airline said Indian Airline's personal conduct code of 1998 does not allow the display of moustaches which could be unhygienic.

The spokesman said that regulations had to be adhered to and that the airline had no choice but to ground Mr De after he repeatedly refused to trim his moustache.

The spokesman said that some passengers could be unnerved by such a striking facial feature.

Mr De is being backed by his wife Chanda, who is an Indian Airlines airhostess.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

25 Jan 00 | South Asia
Indian Airlines to be privatised
17 Jun 98 | From Our Own Correspondent
Moustaches under threat
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories