News @ AsiaOne

Chinese airline sparks controversy with armpit test

Want to be a pilot? Have zero body odour. That was apparently the requirement of Hainan Airlines for its pilot recruitment tests. -AsiaOne

Fri, Nov 09, 2012
AsiaOne

What does it take to become a pilot? You would think perfect vision, good height and an excellent command of English would cut it. But, apparently not for one Chinese airline.

On top of all that, Hainan Airlines requires its pilot hopefuls to be free of body odour.

The airline sparked controversy after it reportedly had a zero-body-odour requirement in its pilot recruitment tests.

At interviews, company staff would apparently go up-close to sniff pilot applicants' bare armpits for any bad smells.

“I passed everything, but I was doomed by my armpits, which are always a bit whiffy,” said one of the applicants who got rejected.

Company officials claim that plane staff often interact with the public and passengers do not want to deal with someone's body odour during their trip, especially not an employee of the airline they are flying with.

"Our staff works very closely with the public, and no passenger wants to smell a pilot’s armpits," said an airline staff in an online Chinese media report.

The airline also claims that the odour test is a good stress management indicator. The same airline spokesperson said: "If they can keep their cool in this test, they aren’t going to sweat in the cockpit.”

According to AOL News, China has recently recruited thousands of airline personnel and the aviation industry is drastically increasing its training standards.

Do you think the hygiene requirement is a good or bad move?

maryanns@sph.com.sg

 
 
 
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