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Airline recruits slim female flight attendants to save fuel

July 2, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59It’s bound to create waves and stir up objections, but an airline has resolved to hire only slim women as flight attendants from now on.

The rationale is that slim women are smaller and therefore the airline can reduce fuel consumption when flying them around, thus saving itself money. 

The decision by Indian budget carrier GoAir evokes the highly publicised move by Samoa Air a few months ago to charge fares according to passengers’ weight.

But GoAir doesn’t plan to weigh passengers. And it cites sound economic reasons for its female flight-attendant decision. The carrier told The Times of India that by hiring female flight attendants in future, is could save an annual sum equivalent to about AUD 550,000. Sidebar-Banner-GTM_Specs--250x250-A

While the figure seems high, the carrier says that women are 15 to 20 kilos lighter on average than men and that each extra kilo carried on board costs INR 3 (that’s three rupees) per flying hour. Three rupees is only about half an Australian cent, but GoAir apparently notches up a lot of flying hours per year. It expects the annual savings to run between AUD 500,000 and AUD 550,000.

A spokesman for the airline told the Times of India that the fall in the value of the rupee had hurt the industry badly. GoAir was doing everything to slash weight aboard its planes, even reducing the size of inflight magazines. Water tanks for drinking on board were no longer filled to capacity “as only 35% to 40% of that water is actually used. Now the water tanks are filled 60%”.

Aircraft would soon start taxiing using a single engine, to save fuel. There is no suggestion they will fly using a single engine, but new aircraft will have their wingtips fitted with sharklet devices to help cut fuel burn by an additional 5%.

Apparently GoAir found that 40% of its flight attendants were male, while the norm in India’s airline industry is 30%. So it wants more women – and petite, slim ones, at that.

There are no plans to lay off any staff and weighing passengers is definitely not in the picture. Not yet, anyway.

Written by : Peter Needham

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