An Indian airline known for lower fares is reportedly instituting yet another way to keep costs low -- ditch heavier male flight attendants in favor of an all-female crew that will be lighter to transport and therefore save fuel.
Times of India reported 40 percent of GoAir's 330 flight attendants being male. With women generally weighing 30 to 45 pounds less than males and it costing about 3 rupees ($0.05) per hour per extra pound to fly, the airline expects to save up to 30 million rupees (around $500 million) each year in fuel through the new hiring practice.
In the coming years, the airline expects to expand its fleet and flight attendant crew up to 2,000.
"The rupee's fall has hurt the industry badly. All major expenses — aircraft leasing, spare parts and fuel costs — are linked to the dollar. The fall in exchange rate of a rupee costs us Rs 30 crore on an annual basis. We are looking at every possible way of cost-cutting to remain profitable," GoAir CEO Giorgio De Roni told the Times.
Indian budget carrier 'GoAir' CEO Giorgio Di Roni (L) and managing director Jeh Wadia pose with a model of an aircraft during a press conference in Mumbai on June 16, 2011. Wadia said his company has placed an order for 72 new A320 Airbus aircraft in a deal worth up to 6.1 billion dollars at list prices. The booming Indian market has become a key source of business for France-based Airbus, which won its biggest ever order in January from GoAir's local competitor IndiGo, who ordered 180 A320s, worth 15.6 billion dollars at list prices. AFP PHOTO/ Indranil MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
Just a few months ago, Somoa Air announced a controversial "pay as you weigh" program, charging passengers based on the pounds, which includes their own body and luggage.
In addition to hoping for savings by reducing the weight of the flight crew, other cost-saving measures De Roni noted were reducing the size of inflight magazines, filling water tanks less and using only one engine during taxiing.
He also said, the structural design of new aircraft will have "sharklets," or wingtip devices, that are expected to reduce fuel burn by 5 percent. Older planes will also be outfitted with sharklets in the coming years as well.
(H/T: Daily Telegraph)
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