PIA Tells Cabin Crew to Lose Weight Or Be Grounded

Shedding a few pounds must be many people’s new year resolution. But having this goal set by an employer seems a little over the line. This is what Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has done to welcome 2019.

The flag carrier has asked its ‘overweight’ crew to lose weight by February 1 or else they will be grounded. The airline has released a circular on this ultimatum.

The circular gives a schedule for the cabin crew to reduce weight. What is more is that the circular suggests that the airline has done this before too. It states that the crew was told on May 10 2016, to lose weight.

It reads, the PIA has decided to ‘gradually reduce waiver of 30 lbs. excess weight to zero lbs. in coming months’. The schedule provides details on shedding five pounds every month to lose 30 pounds by July.


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Moreover, by February 1, the crew will have to lose five pounds, given they were considered overweight before. Same goes for the next months till July 1, when the crew is expected to have achieved the target of zero pounds excess weight.

Also, who have 30 pounds excess weight after January 31 will be grounded and ‘referred to aircrew medical center for medical evaluation and treatment until the weight is reduced up to desired standard/ BMI.’

It also states, “Cabin Crew already on weight check are required to report Grooming Cell up till 15th of each month for clearance of International/Domestic flights in their next roster.”

The fact that among all the pressing issues, PIA chose this one to deal with is quite strange itself. It is incurring a loss of billions of rupees every month. Many of its pilots do not have a proper degree. The company has been called as a black hole by the finance minister, and yet, fat shaming its employees is what PIA chose to do.

  • PIA is a company not a dollar store. Such tactics with employees like this shows that the people who run this organisation are mentally ill. By hanging sword on the heads of the people you can’t motivate them. Team up with local tie ups like weight watchers and get the best out of them. So next time don’t be alarmed if PIA cuts tea or coffee servings in offices. This is what Nokia telecom division did back in 2009 when they lost badly to Google Android at one front and to Huawei at the other.

      • You are missing the point. I never said employees should not take care of themselves. I encourage this and not only do the employees themselves look fit, but also boosts their self esteem. My concern is the way things are executed to acheive the objective by the management. So you can acheive the same objective by hammering your subordinate or giving them appreciation at their acheivement. I bet most of the employess signed their employee contracts when none of this was ever stated. So their is a legal aspect to it as well. I like the rest of you would definately want our national airline to be market competetive but the management should change the way they do things.

  • although other pressing issues are to address but it doesn’t mean employees must not groom themselves which is a must as they represent their country. BUT the big thing is when they will behave well with the travelers and that is needed for the stuff as a whole either cabin crew or customer services.

    • They already are in Air India and many more.. National careers except few tend to give permanent jobs to crew members.

      And by the way their weight should not concern us in any way. And sham on us that we are pointing and judging women on their appearances. If its airline policy, that something to do with airline management and their employees. If we dont like a certain airlines, then lets not fly with it and find a better alternate.

      On lighter note, please note that developed countries are coming up with plus size models are here we are that we are talking about crew members as if they were suppose to be in fashion industry, no sir they are not, they are just their to ensure that we get to our destination safely.

  • writer is naive and all over the place.
    every job has its requirements and airlines had this weight limit since ages, not checking this before is a lapse on pia and should be practiced often.
    anyone thinking this is wrong (writer) should first see there’s job requirements example retirement age, experience, etc… no you don’t go after those too else you’ll have more old staff and less young blood.

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