Air India sacks 10 ‘overweight’ air hostesses

January 5th, 2009 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) India’s flagship carrier Air India has handed 10 air hostesses the pink slip for being overweight.The hostesses, who were grounded some months earlier, were served the termination notices in the last week of December, a senior Air India official, who did not wish to be identified, told IANS.

All terminated hostesses were serving on domestic routes.

One of the sacked airhostesses told IANS that she was grounded two years back and had not been given salary since then. She got one month’s salary along with the termination letter.

In June last year, five of the airhostesses had approached the Delhi High Court, challenging Air India’s decision to ground them for being overweight. However, the court dismissed their petition.

The court said there was “no unreasonableness or arbitrariness” in the airline’s decision. It noted that there was nothing wrong in the rules which prescribe different weight limits according to the height and age of an air hostess.

The air hostesses also opposed a circular issued by the airline withdrawing the permissible overweight limit of three kg over and above the upper weight limit for them.

Air India said the action taken against the employees was justified as it was mentioned in the contract.

For an 18-year-old air hostess with a height of 152 cm, the maximum weight permissible is 50 kg, while for air hostesses in the age group of 26 to 30 and a height of 152 cm, the weight limit is 56 kg.

When contacted, Air India spokesperson J. Bhargava said he was not aware of the issue. The airline’s executive director (north) D.S. Kohli refused to comment.

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