To lighten up on its load and presumably save some money, India’s Go Air has decided to hire only female flight attendants, who are usually lighter than males, the Times of India reports
Of Go Air's 330 flight attendants, 40 percent are men. The 130 men already on the job will not be fired, the Times reports, but future recruits will be restricted to women.
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The airline blames the situation on the falling value of the rupee.
"The rupee's fall has hurt the industry badly. All major expenses — aircraft leasing, spare parts and fuel costs — are linked to the dollar. The fall in exchange rate of a rupee costs us ... on an annual basis. We are looking at every possible way of cost-cutting to remain profitable," GoAir CEO Giorgio De Roni told the Times.
The airline is also cutting back in other ways. Pilots are doing single-engine taxis, and the airline is developing new planes with a wingtip device that will reduce fuel burning by 5 percent, De Roni said.
Go Air is not the first airline to hire women-only flight attendants. In a similar effort to lighten the load in the air, Irish Ryanair also said men need not apply, according to The Huffington Post
In Thailand, Thai Airways took a different tack, ordering some of its employees to lose weight and specifying body mass indexes and waistline measurements. Employees responded with a discrimination complaint, the Huffington Post said.
Before 1992, many U.S. carriers had weight regulations too. But a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission put an end to them, the New York Times reports
The rules weren’t just about aircraft overload. Some airlines insisted that stewardesses quit when they married or turned 32, the Times reported.
Flight attendants on South Korea’s Asiana Airlines were required to wear skirts until they won a lawsuit this year to for the right to wear pants, the Star Online reported
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