A Chinese airline is under fire for its policy aimed at suspending “overweight” flight attendants.
Earlier this month, Hainan Airlines released weight requirements for its flight attendants.
The company uses a formula to calculate what an employee’s body weight should be.
For example, a flight attendant who is 5-foot-1 would be required to stay around 105 pounds.
There are serious consequences for those who exceed these set limits, the Global Times reported.
Depending on how much the employee is above the airline’s requirement, they can face monthly monitoring and reviews — and even be grounded from air travel for 30 days.
During their suspension, they are expected to adhere to a “weight reduction plan” and their progress is closely tracked by the company.
Hainan Airlines defended the new policy and noted the policy doesn’t discriminate based on gender.
“The measure is intended to advocate healthy living habits and maintain a good professional image and healthy physique by anchoring the reference target, rather than passively waiting for individual crew members’ physique to change significantly and then affect safety at work,” Hainan Airlines said in a statement to CNN.
The company continues to face backlash online.
“And which of the supposedly overweight attendants get paid for #mentalhealth support for the eating disorder that could ensue after such a deplorable grounding? #MentalHealthMatters #EatingDisorders,” one Twitter user wrote.
“This shameful move by Hainan Airlines both saddens & disgusts,” another commented.
“Apply the same rule to the pilots and see what happens, but they won’t as there’s not enough pilots globally to fill the current slot and they wouldn’t dare. Hainan Airlines restricting the calorific intake of cabin crew is a significant flight safety issue,” another user wrote.