Turkish Airlines is giving 28 flight attendants six months to lose weight or face reassignment.
The employees have been placed on unpaid leave while they try to shape up.
All of the employees – 13 women and 15 men – had previously been warned to lose weight, an official of the state-run airline says.
“Weight and height are important factors at all airlines. These criteria are important both in terms of appearance and the ability to move about,” Turkish Airlines says in a statement.
Izzet Levi, head of a cabin attendants’ association, and one of those furloughed, tells the Haber Turk newspaper he must drop 22 pounds to reach 211 pounds if he is to return to his post.
If they don’t lose weight, the crew members will be assigned to ground positions, the carrier says.
Air Arabia, based in the United Arab Emirates, recently took a similar approach to encouraging crew weight loss, giving flight attendants three months to get in shape, reports BreakingTravelNews.com.
According to the website, “the airlines argue that fitness is an important issue for certain flight attendant tasks,” such as evacuating passengers quickly in the event of an emergency.”