Indian budget airline GoAir has launched an audacious and controversial policy of favouring women over men in recruitment for their cabin crew. The move will help the airline save fuel on flights to India and the surrounding region, because women weigh less than men.
The scheme has been implemented as part of a wider policy to try and cut back on unnecessary costs, and any saving on fuel could potentially have a huge impact on profits. As men weigh on average between 15 and 20 kilos more than women, the savings could be substantial. Indeed, projections from the airline predict an annual saving of over £325,000.
A spokesperson for the airline denied that a specific policy had been implemented surrounding gender-based recruitment, but rather that the airline would be taking steps to bring its cabin crew’s gender ratio into line with the industry average. He stated that currently GoAir’s cabin crew are 60 per cent women and 40 per cent men, while the industry average split is 70:30.
GoAir’s CEO, Giorgio De Roni, has announced a number of other cost-saving measures. "The size of in-flight magazines has been reduced,” he said, adding, “the potable water tanks are no longer being filled to capacity as only 35 to 40 per cent of that water is actually used."
According to GoAir, the male cabin crew currently employed by the airline will not be at risk of losing their jobs, but they will be joined by a greater number of female employees in the future.
The move comes as airlines around the world look to cut costs and save money, particularly surrounding fuel consumption. In 2012, Samoa Air made history by becoming the first airline to charge customers based on their weight.