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India grounds 'fat' air hostesses

By Sanjoy Majumder
BBC News, Delhi

Air hostess with Kingfisher Airlines (file photo)
Air India faces competitions from other airlines with younger flight crew

An Indian court has ruled that state-owned airline Air India has the right to prevent its air hostesses from flying for being overweight.

The Delhi high court was responding to a case filed by five air hostesses who had been grounded by the airline for being too fat to fly.

The air hostesses are expected to appeal against the decision.

The judges agreed with the airline's view that overweight crew present a safety and health hazard.

They also said that, in the highly competitive airline industry, an air hostess's physical condition and appearance played an important role in her overall personality.

Air India, whose air hostesses wear traditional Indian saris, is facing a stiff challenge from a number of private airlines with younger flight crew typically dressed in skirts or Western suits.

A few years ago, during a recruitment drive for new crew, the airline said that it would not consider applicants with acne or bad teeth.


SEE ALSO
Victory for 'fat' air hostesses
23 Mar 07 |  Business
Shed weight or jobs, crews told
15 Dec 05 |  South Asia
No acne allowed for air hostesses
19 Feb 04 |  South Asia

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