According to Tribune an announcement was made on Wednesday that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will be posting seven experienced officers of Pakistan Army Force (PAF) at distinct levels for the national flag carrier.
From 31 January any cabin crew of PIA who weighs more than 30lbs (2st 2lbs) beyond the weight limit shall be prohibited from flying. A memo was distributed to approximately 1,800 employees.
According to CNN stated in Independent, the excess weight limit will be reduced to 5lbs a month.
The memo expressed:
“Any crew found above 30lbs from the desired weight after 31 January 2019 will be grounded and referred to Air Crew Medical Centre for medical evaluation and treatment until weight is reduced up to desired standard/BMI.” (http://www.independent.co.uk)
Diagrams have been distributed by the airline, commanding acceptable crew weight based on height. For instance, females with a height of 5ft 7in are given a weight span of 133-147lbs (9st 7lbs-10st).
Crew that are currently on “weight test” will require reporting to a monthly “grooming cell” before they are given permission to fly.
According to PIA spokesperson, 5 per cent of the staff will be affected by the new rules.
The CNN were told that, “nobody would like to have scruffy crew on the aircraft”, adding, that the crackdown was a “regular, routine matter” ensuring crew are “slim, smart and fit”.
It’s been over a year of receiving complaints about “obese” flight crew, the airline claimed. PIA also stated, reducing the weight is about both appearance and health of staff.
Threatened job losses of flight attendants not meeting the standard targets of dictated weight, is not occurring the first time, stated the airline. Air India, grounded approximately 130 of its “mainly women” cabin crew, in 2015, due to being “overweight”.
Pakistan International Airlines stated the resolution was based on safety matters and government laws, whilst the critics marked the act “ridiculous”.
Aviation industry consultant Mark Martin at the time said: as quoted in (Independent.co.uk)
“This move to impose a certain BMI, ignoring experience and other performance parameters, is immature, misogynistic and shockingly sexiest”. He also added: “We seem to have lost the plot on what is needed from flight attendants”.
An airline official said: as quoted in (Independent.co.uk)
“People who are fitter can respond quicker and more efficiently in case of any untoward situation”.