Court agrees flight attendants are too fat to fly: report

NEW DELHI, June 6, 2008 (AFP) – An Indian court has upheld the right of state-owned Air India to ground overweight flight attendants, a report said. Lawyers for the airline told the court the attendants were moved from flight duty to ground duty when they failed to meet minimum physical fitness standards, the Hindu newspaper reported.

The Delhi High Court said on Wednesday the attendants’ contracts stipulated their jobs could be terminated if they put on too much weight, according to the paper.

The bench, made up of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice J.R. Midha, said the state-run airline needed fit flight attendants to compete with private rivals in India’s fiercely competitive aviation market.

“The entry of private airlines in the business has resulted in severe competition,” the judges said in their ruling.

The airline “has to meet this challenge by ensuring that its air hostesses and cabin crew members remained physically fit.”

“There has been much debate about skinny bodies vis-a-vis healthy bodies, but there is no scope for any debate on overweight people,” the judges added.

“It is universally accepted that overweight