Pakistan’s national carrier PIA has come heavily on its overweight cabin crew by giving them a deadline to lose weight failing which they will be grounded.
In a note circulated to around 1800 overweight cabin crew, the airline said that it was ‘reducing the waiver of 30 pounds excess weight to zero pounds in the coming months.’ The order, according to CNN, was dated 1 January and signed by the PIA general manager Aamir Bashir.
Currently, flight attendants who are 30 pounds over are still eligible for flight duty. The airline also issued a weight chart for its overweight crew with differing heights and body types. According to the memo, for a ‘medium frame’ woman of 5 feet 7 inches height (1.7 meters), the guide is 133-147 pounds. “Weight check of all the cabin crew will be carried out at their base stations respectively and comprehensive data will be maintained for perusal of management,” the PIA memo stated.
Those already on ‘weight check’ must report monthly to a ‘grooming cell’ in order to receive clearance to fly.
According to Sama TV of Pakistan, the waiver is being reduced to 25 pounds by February, meaning the crew will have to lose five pounds if they were considered overweight before. The deadlines continue every month with a five pound decrease until 1 July, where PIA says its cabin crew should be zero pounds overweight.
In 2017, India’s national carrier Air India had cracked the whip on its over-weight cabin staff by temporarily taking off 57 crew members from flying and putting them on ground duty.
These cabin crew members, including air hostesses, have been told to “shape up” within a stipulated time frame, failing which they would be grounded permanently. Air India has over 3,800 cabin crew members, of whom more than 2,500 are women. Out of the total cabin crew strength, around 2,200 members are on permanent rolls.