According to sources, Air India could possibly ground some 125 cabin crew staff, including air hostesses, for their failure to maintain weight requirements as prescribed by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Some may be assigned ground duty, while others can be offered voluntary retirement.
The national carrier gave a chance to some 600 overweight cabin crew last year to ‘shape up’ to continue flight duty following the DGCA’s guidelines to keep the weight down. Of the 600 cabin staff, some 125 have not maintained the required Body Mass Index (BMI) prescribed, so they have to be taken off flying duty. The BMI of 22-27 for females is considered overweight and 27 and above obese. For male crew a BMI of 18-25 is normal and 25-29 is overweight and 30 and above is obese.
The state run airline currently has 3,500 cabin crew staff of whom 2,200 are permanent and the rest are on contract. Sources say these employees have already had 18 months to meet the required BMI but failed to do so.