Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the national flag carrier for the country, has allegedly told its staff to lose weight or risk losing their jobs.
The leaked memo was sent out to 1800 employees by managers warning them they will be given ‘ground’ duties if they did not hit the weight targets within one month.
The order, issued January 1, 2019, by Aamir Bashir, the national flag carrier’s general manager of flight services, is believed to have been made after complaints by customers about the weight of staff on the airlines.
The leaked memo came with a suggested weight chart for differing heights and body types.
For a “medium frame” woman of 5 feet 7 inches height (1.7 meters), the guide suggests a weight between 133 to 147 pounds to be acceptable.
“Weight check of all the cabin crew will be carried out at their base stations respectively and comprehensive data will be maintained for perusal of management,” according to the memo.
The memo adds: ‘If any crew found above 30lbs from the desired weight after January 31, 2019, will be grounded and referred to Aircrew Medical Centre for medical evaluation and treatment until weight is reduced up to desired standard/BMI.’
The staff then have until July 1 to shift the full weight, the memo said.
It is not clear what the ‘desired weight’ is, but a spokesperson said the memo was to remind staff they need to be ‘slim’, as well as ‘smart and fit’.
Spokesperson for PIA, Mashhood Tajwar, said the memo was genuine called the crackdown a ‘regular, routine matter’ after a number of complaints about ‘obese’ flight attendants.
He went on to say: ‘No one would like to have shabby crew in the aircraft.’