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Airline to hire female-only cabin crew to cut fuel bill

Budget airlines are constantly on the lookout for ways to cut their fuel bills and India’s GoAir is no different. Its latest idea is to hire female-only cabin crew, refusing applications from their heavier male counterparts in a bid to limit fuel burn.

The low-cost airline has calculated that the move will save up to 30 million rupees a year, because women are 20kg lighter on average.

Around 130 of GoAir’s existing crew members, or 40 per cent, are male, and they will keep their jobs. But men will miss out in the future, as the airline presses ahead with ambitious expansion plans for 80 new aircraft by 2020 and around 2,000 cabin crew and pilots. It currently has a fleet of 15 aircraft.

The chief executive, Giorgio De Roni, said the decision was driven by the rupee’s sharp fall against the dollar over the past year.

"The rupee’s fall has hurt the industry badly. All major expenses - aircraft leasing, spare parts and fuel costs - are linked to the dollar,” he told the Times of India. “We are looking at every possible way of cost-cutting to remain profitable."