Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has told its cabin crew to lose weight within six months and has given them a target of five pounds a month.
In a memo distributed to approximately 1,800 cabin crew members, the airline management said that they must trim, or face being grounded.
The memo stated: “Any crew found above 30lbs from the desired weight after 31 January 2019 will be grounded and referred to Air Crew Medical Center for medical evaluation and treatment until weight is reduced up to desired standard/BMI.”
The national carrier estimates that around 100 — just over 5% — of the cabin crew would need to lose weight by July 1 to avoid grounding.
Local media have quoted Mashhood Tajwar, the PIA spokesperson, as describing the crackdown on overweight flight crew as a “regular, routine matter,” and suggested that the memo was issued as standards for weight had lapsed over time, and was issued to ensure that the flight attendants were “slim, smart and fit.”
He also said that the airline had received complaints about “obese” flight attendants but did not elaborate on how many passengers had taken issue with their cabin crews’ appearances.
If staff are grounded, they would lose out on flying allowances and other benefits.
As things stand, flight attendants who are 30 pounds overweight are still eligible for flight duty. But now the airline has issued its crew a suggested weight chart for differing heights and body types.
For a “medium frame” woman of five feet seven inches height (1.7 metres), for example, the guide is 133 to 147 pounds. Figures have also been quoted for male cabin crew members, I am told.
The initiative was put in place for reasons of both appearance and health and insisted that the PIA was not alone in maintaining their cabin crews hit weight targets.