Unverified information given to PaddleYourOwnKanoo suggests that the female crew member, who died earlier in March at EBB, may have been concerned about her weight and age-related employment status at the time of her death. Critics of the carrier say that it must do more to support its cabin crew.
According to insider sources, the death of a member of Emirates‘ cabin crew earlier this month has been linked to controversial employment policies at the carrier, reports PaddleYourOwnKanoo. The female staff member died on March 14 after she reportedly fell from the doorway of an Emirates Boeing 777 that was stationary at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport (EBB). While the woman was taken to a local hospital, she died of her injuries shortly after arrival.
Information given by these insider sources, which has not been verified, indicates that the woman had been employed by Emirates for years and was working in a supervisory role at the time of her death. However, these sources have also indicated that the woman had been “struggling with her weight” and had been enrolled in the carrier’s ‘Appearance Management Program’.
This program, as the outlet’s Mateusz Maszczynski explains, “isn’t a program to manage someone who is dangerously overweight,” but rather, “the ‘Appearance Management Program’ is used by Emirates’ management to keep cabin crew in check with the narrow aesthetic ‘look’ that is approved by the airline. Flight attendants who fail to lose weight and maintain a slim figure can face disciplinary action, including loss of earnings and dismissal.”
The site recently dedicated a separate article to the topic, in which another unnamed insider told the outlet that crew were going to extreme lengths to maintain their weight. The outlet also suggests that age discrimination may have played a part in the death of the crew member at EBB. “It’s widely believed that flight attendants who reach 50 years of age have their contracts terminated,” reports the site.
The carrier, which boasts 20,000 cabin crew members, many of whom are expats, also has a disproportionately high number of unexplained deaths among its staff. In order to prevent further deaths, the outlet says that, “Critics are now calling for Emirates to do more to support its large cabin crew population of mostly expat workers. More can and should be done to pre-screen candidates for existing mental health conditions and to support serving cabin crew who need additional support.”