It comes after the carrier warned 600 of its 3,500 cabin crew last year to lose weight within six months, or risk being taken off flights and given a job on the ground.
The airline is now planning to remove around 130 from duty because their body mass index (BMI) levels, which measures body fat based on a person’s height and weight, are above the prescribed limit.
Air India said the “normal” BMI for an air stewardess is between 18 and 22. Anyone between 22 and 27 is classes as “overweight”, while those over 27 would be ranked as “obese”.
The brackets for male attendants were 18 to 25, 25 to 30, and above, The Telegraph reported.
The NHS says a “healthy” BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
After Air India tested its staff last year, the 600 found to be “overweight” or “obese” were declared “temporarily unfit” for flight duties and were reportedly asked to undergo clinical examinations and lose weight by changing their diet and lifestyle and exercising more.
“About 130 of them failed the reassessment,” an Air India official told The Telegraph in Calcutta. “We are now declaring them permanently unfit for their job as flight attendants.”
“People who are fitter can respond quicker and more efficiently in case of any untoward situation.”
In 2009 Air India also removed staff from the air for being overweight, grounding 10 staff who failed to slim down.