Qatar Airways is hiring a new cabin crew nutritionist who will “assess and promote healthy eating habits” by developing “health plans” for flight attendants at the Doha-based carrier.
In an official job ad, Qatar Airways says their nutritionists are responsible for evaluating the health of staff and planning “different approaches to tackle and address a healthy lifestyle for cabin crew”.
Although Qatar Airways is known for requiring staff to adhere to some of the strictest airline grooming standards in the world, the nutritionist will not directly manage cabin crew appearance but give flight attendants advice on what “foods to eat and those foods to avoid”.
Fellow Gulf airline Emirates is believed to still run an ‘appearance management programme‘ in which cabin crew can find themselves subjected to regular weigh-ins. Cabin crew who are deemed to be overweight are grounded and placed on eating and health plans until they shed the excess weight.
As exclusively revealed by us in 2018, so-called Uniform Standards Officers would stalk the corridors at Emirates’ crew report building at Dubai International Airport and select cabin crew for an impromptu weigh-in and measurement.
The controversial appearance management programme was run by the cabin crew fitness and nutrition department.
Cabin crew who failed a weigh-in were managed by a team of nutritionists and nurses and given advice on what to eat in order to lose weight. A former Emirates flight attendant claimed the programme was still in operation earlier this year, dubbing those responsible as the ‘weight police’.
In January, cabin crew at Air India objected to new body mass weight checks that would be performed on them by uniform police just before reporting for a flight.
The cabin crew union which represents Air India’s flight attendants said it feared the checks could negatively impact a crew member’s mental health just as they’re about to take on important safety tasks.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.