Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 20:02 UK

Male flight attendants 'banned'

A cabin crew boss was forced to employ only young, slim, single women to crew private aircraft, a tribunal has heard.

Alexandria Proud, from London, has claimed unfair constructive dismissal by charter aircraft firm Gama Aviation.

Miss Proud said she was verbally abused by aircraft owner Alireza Ittehedeh and not supported by her employer.

Mr Ittehedeh would not permit her to employ male flight attendants who he believed to be gay, the tribunal heard. The firm denies breach of contract.

Gama Aviation supplies pilots and flight attendants for about 30 privately-owned aircraft.

The successful candidate would be female, physically attractive, aged 18 to 30, single and no larger than a size 12
Alexandria Proud

Miss Proud said she was forced to discriminate when recruiting cabin staff on grounds of sex, marital status and age, and criticised for not getting enough suitable candidates.

"The successful candidate would be female, physically attractive, aged 18 to 30, single and no larger than a size 12," said Miss Proud.

"I was also specifically informed that if there was a male flight attendant it would be thought that he was gay and the owner would not tolerate such an individual on the aircraft."

Miss Proud issued a formal grievance against the firm's director of operations Steve Wright after he behaved "inappropriately" and was aggressive, the Southampton tribunal heard.

In August last year Miss Proud was signed off work with a stress-related illness.

The firm's delays in handling her grievances caused her additional stress, she said.

The tribunal continues.



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