Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 10:37 UK

Claim against air firm dismissed

A tribunal has dismissed a cabin crew boss's claim that she was forced to employ only young, slim, single women to crew private aircraft.

Alexandria Proud, 35, from London, claimed unfair constructive dismissal by charter aircraft firm Gama Aviation.

Miss Proud claimed she was told not to employ male flight attendants by an aircraft owner, who said they were gay.

The firm denied the "unfair, untrue and not credible" allegations. The tribunal found no evidence of such a policy.

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

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

Miss Proud said she was forced to discriminate when recruiting cabin staff on grounds of sex, marital status and age, and was 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," Miss Proud told the tribunal.

"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."

In August last year Miss Proud, also known as "Lexi", was signed off work with a stress-related illness. The firm's delays in handling her grievances caused her additional stress, she said.

We are all understandably delighted that we have been vindicated by the tribunal
Marwan Khalek, Gama chief executive

But the tribunal dismissed her claim, and said a "snapshot" of the crew working for the firm during Miss Proud's employment had an average age of 42.

Miss Proud also claimed that a company client, Alireza Ittehedeh, verbally abused her when she delivered a package to him.

The tribunal found that Gama Aviation could not have reasonably been expected to be responsible for Mr Ittehedeh's behaviour.

It also found that Miss Proud was "unduly confrontational, intemperate and challenging" in some of her emails to the firm while on sick leave.

After the tribunal Gama chief executive Marwan Khalek said: "We are all understandably delighted that we have been vindicated by the tribunal and regret that Lexi made these malicious and untruthful claims knowing the potential damage it could cause to the company's excellent reputation and to her former colleagues."



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