An Indian airline has hit on possibly the worthiest excuse yet for hiring slim women as cabin crew -- it saves fuel and therefore money.
While some airlines admit to hiring women for their sex appeal, budget carrier GoAir has implemented a female-only flight attendant recruitment policy because they are 15-20 kilos lighter on average than men, it claims.
The airline estimates each extra kilo on board costs Rs3 ($0.05) per flying hour, and the new policy will save it up to $500,000 annually.
Other weight-reduction initiatives have also been employed.
"The size of in-flight magazines has been reduced," the airline's CEO Giorgio De Roni told The Times of India. "The potable water tanks are no longer being filled to capacity as only 35% to 40% of that water is actually used."
GoAir's 130 male cabin staff (out of 330 total) will be unaffected -- the policy affects future hires only. The airline expects to hire around 2,000 flight attendants and pilots over the next seven years.
Weight and its reduction is a key focus for airlines as fuel costs, comprising a third to half an airline's operating costs, continue to rise.
Samoa Air last year became the first airline to charge fees according to weight, and a Norwegian economist has claimed this is the fairest and most sensible way to calculate prices.
Sensible economizing, good marketing or discrimination? Tell us what you think about GoAir's new recruitment policy.