Putting light into flight: cabin crew wanted - but men need not apply at budget airline
Indian airline introduces women-only recruitment policy to cut weight and costs
Only slim women will be allowed to apply for jobs as flight attendants on one of India's main budget airlines - in an attempt to save on fuel costs.
GoAir said that airhostesses are on average 15-20kg (33-44lb) lighter than their male colleagues, meaning it won't cost as much to keep them in the air. Each kg of weight on the plane requires an extra 3 rupees (3.3p) worth of fuel, and the airline believes its new policy will save £3,300 a year.
Other drastic measures are being taken to shave off a few pounds. In-flight magazines are to be made smaller, and bottles of drinking water - which were apparently never being finished - will only be filled up to 60 per cent capacity.
Giorgio De Roni, the chief executive of GoAir, told The Times of India that exchange rates were to blame for the controversial new recruitment scheme.
He said: "The rupee's fall has hurt the industry badly. All major expenses - aircraft leasing, spare parts and fuel costs - are linked to the dollar. We are looking at every possible way of cost-cutting to remain profitable."
It's not all bad news for men in the profession, however - under its aggressive tactics for expansion, GoAir plans to introduce around 80 new aircraft in the next seven years, which will require 2,000 new flight attendants and pilots.
The gender restrictions will only affect new recruits - the airline's 130 current male cabin crew members will be allowed to keep their jobs.
Mr De Roni did not say whether the new policy would be extended to cover pilots in the future.
Budget aviation is a competitive market in India. GoAir's rivals AirAsia India announced today that they too would be expanding, adding an extra 10 aircraft a year.
AirAsia chief executive and Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes said: "[The] game plan is very simple. We want to have the lowest fares, we want to improve connectivity within India. We think there are a lot of routes that are just not done."
As rising fuel prices mean airlines worldwide feel the pinch, GoAir's measures cannot be said to be the most extreme.
That prize surely goes to Samoa's "pay-as-you-weigh" system announced earlier this year.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...