Overweight airhostesses not required: Delhi High Court


New Delhi : Delhi High court Wednesday upheld the policy of Indian Airlines to ground overweight air hostesses.

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A bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri dismissed the petition filed by a few Indian Airlines airhostesses, who were grounded after their weights exceeded the limit fixed by the airline. Since the time it had grounded the airhostesses, Indian Airlines has been merged with Air India.

The court had on May 5 reserved the judgement on a bunch of petitions of Indian Airlines’ airhostesses challenging their grounding for being overweight.

The appeal had specifically challenged the legality of a circular issued by Indian Airlines Limited on May 4, 2006 by which grounding of airhostesses became effective with the withdrawal of a permissible overweight limit of 3 kg over and above the upper limit as laid down for the cabin crew.

Appearing for the airhostesses, advocate Arvind Sharma had said: “There is no connection between weight and performance of duty when one is medically fit. Weight is not a criterion of fitness. Grounding of airhostesses on being overweight is contrary to service regulations and is totally malafide.”

The petitioners had challenged the judgement of a single bench of the high court, which had upheld the airline’s policy of grounding overweight airhostesses.

Appearing for the airline, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said: “It was clearly mentioned in their (airhostesses’) contract that their job could be terminated in case they put on weight above the permissible limit and they have just been grounded on a condition that they would be allowed to fly after losing weight.”

The court acknowledged Subramanium’s submission that the airhostesses were already aware of the condition when they signed the contract.