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India’s SpiceJet Embroiled in New Cabin Crew Recruitment Scandal

India’s SpiceJet Embroiled in New Cabin Crew Recruitment Scandal

India's SpiceJet Embroiled in New Cabin Crew Recruitment Scandal

The Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet is facing yet more criticism over its cabin crew hiring policies after a recruiter allegedly told one eager candidate that the carrier does not employ “tan girls”.  The incident comes just weeks after the airline was called out for holding ‘female only’ recruitment events where hopeful’s were expected to submit a full-length photo of themselves amidst fears SpiceJet was sexualising the role of cabin crew.

In a series of Tweets, a friend of the rejected candidate told how she had waited in line for hours at a SpiceJet cabin crew Open Day just for a chance to hand over her CV and photo.  When her turn finally came, it’s alleged a recruiter immediately said to her: “Don’t you know we don’t accept tan girls?”.

The interviewer apparently attempted to justify the discriminatory recruitment policy telling the rejected candidate: “That’s how the airline business works”.

Photo Credit: SpiceJet
Photo Credit: SpiceJet

My friend is strong, intelligent, creative and a very humble person. Her skin colour does not decide if she’s worthy of a job,” the Twitter user said of her friend.

“Whether it’s being an air hostess for a shitty airline or a model, her selection should purely be on the basis of her skill, not colour,” she continued.  “Being tanned or dark skinned does not make you inadequate. Having a closed mind does.”

Thankfully, this story had a happy ending after the candidate was hired by rival Indian airline Vistara.  Other Twitter users criticised SpiceJet for its policies and called on the airline to make immediate changes.

SpiceJet was recently forced to publicly change its policy on only hiring female cabin crew after facing criticism over the apparently discriminatory practice.  But while SpiceJet has updated its social media adverts to reflect the change, the airline’s official recruitment website still warns hopeful cabin crew that all Open Day’s are only for female candidates.

The TATA and Singapore Airlines backed Air Vistara only started hiring male cabin crew last year, explaining that it was waiting until it had scaled to a certain size before becoming an equal opportunity employer.  While that explanation might not make sense, Vistara has had least now embraced diversity.

Other airlines continue to hold female-only cabin crew recruitment events – including the likes of Qatar Airways which has publicly backed greater gender equality in the aviation industry.


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