The falling rupee has claimed a new victim — the male cabin crew. Low cost carrier GoAir has decided to recruit only air hostesses from now on instead of the ‘heavier’ male flight pursers. The idea is to lighten the aircraft to reduce fuel burn because of increased operating costs.
GoAir currently has 330 cabin crew members, 40% of whom are males. Every additional kg on board costs Rs 3 per flight hour. With an airhostess weighing about 15-20kg less than a male flight purser, Go expects to save about Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore annually.
The airline’s 130-odd male flight pursers will keep flying but future cabin crew recruitments will be all air hostesses. Go plans to induct about 80 aircraft over next seven years, for which it will recruit about 2,000 air hostesses and pilots.
“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 said.
With the rupee’s free fall hiking operating costs, the airline has taken other steps to lighten its aircraft and improve fuel efficiency.
“We are reducing the weight on board our aircraft. The size of inflight magazines has been reduced. The potable water tanks are no longer being filled to capacity as only 35% to 40% of that water is actually used. Now the water tanks are filled 60%,” De Roni said. Operational procedures have been revised with aircraft now doing single engine taxi to save fuel.
“Our new aircraft will have sharklets (wingtip devices) that will help in reducing fuel burn by 5%. From next year onwards, we will have sharklets installed in five of our existing planes as the remaining 10 will be phased out to have a young fleet,” he said.
Source: Times Of India