Air India Faces Flak Over Putting Flight Crew on Low-Fat Diet

Air India Faces Flak Over Putting Flight Crew on Low-Fat Diet
An illustration of a flight crew, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Dhananjay Kumar, the airline spokesperson, says the objective is to provide healthy and cost-effective meals to crew members onboard domestic and international flights

OT Staff
September 25 , 2019
01 Min Read

A novel initiative undertaken by the Director (operations) was announced to the staff in a memo where the revision of the inflight food menu was on the agenda. 

An airline statement read, “Special low-fat diet meals have been worked out on a day-wise basis in order to provide light and healthy meal with a home (Indian) touch”. With a typical meal consisting of a mushroom egg white omelette, vegetarian oats and besan chilla. Principally dishes that are “low on cholesterol and fat” as proclaimed by an Air India representative. 


Furthermore, this recent measure has been called into question following a protracted history of cabin crew weight concerns, just as recently as 2015 Air India made international headlines when it grounded 130 of its cabin crew for being overweight. In a state of affairs where a sensitive and measured approach would have been advisable, Air India defended the decision citing a ‘safety concern’.  

The airlines guidelines and concerns with regards to ideal body types dates back to the 1980’s when the airline distributed weight and height charts to their employees. This was followed by an incident in early 2000’s when the airline said it would not consider flight attendant candidates who had “acne or bad teeth”. Shocker, right?

This decision comes on the back of the Indian government trying to sell Air India, mind you, an airline that is suffering from crippling debts of 580 billion rupees ($8 billion). 

The timing of the move also has a few people questioning whether or not this is an upshot of Prime Minister Modi’s “Fit India” initiative that was marketed only recently in a bid to encourage exercise in the country.  

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