Air India made a controversial decision to ground 125 flight attendants — the majority of whom were women — this week, deeming them too overweight. Last year, the airline had warned 600 of their crew to slim down to a required weight maximum, according to an Air India official who spoke with BBC.

Critics, according to The Washington Post, have called the decision “ridiculous” and “shockingly sexist.”

However, the airline’s fight against “overweight” attendants is no new issue — weight limits for Indian flight attendants date back to the 1980s, and in 2006, Air India grounded nine female flight attendants they said were “exceptionally overweight.”

The airline claimed that this was a fitness issue back in 2009.

“Being grossly overweight does have a bearing on reflexes and can impair agility required to perform the emergency functions,” the airline said. Air India spokesman Jitendra Bhargava continued to the BBC: “All efforts to get them to reduce weight had failed.”

Under the current guidelines, flight attendants deemed “unfit” were to be given six months to skim down or face being grounded. According to airline regulations, a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18-25 is normal for a male cabin crew member, and a BMI between 18-22 is acceptable for a female.

The 600 crew members who were given a warning last year underwent a diet and exercise regimen before being reassessed by the airline.

“About 130 of them failed the reassessment,” an Air India official told the Telegraph. “We are now declaring them permanently unfit for their job as flight attendants.”

Plenty of people have negative comments about the policy.

“The guidelines are arbitrary and discriminatory,” an official from the All India Cabin Crew Association told the Daily Mail. “They can’t just wake up one fine morning and make some crazy rules citing flimsy reasons.”

The official pointed out that Air India’s cabin crew has had a perfect safety record, and it doesn’t make sense to call the crew “unfit” to handle emergencies.

Some see the policy as just another way for the airline to screen out less attractive flight attendants. In 2004, personnel manager Meenakshi Due told the BBC that “looks matter in this line of work,” and that the airline will “look at the skin, teeth, and height,” of its attendants.

“It’s incredibly upsetting that working women are being targeted,” Sheila Joshi, a flight attendant with 27 years of experience, told The Times of London. She demanded a ban of weight limits, but the Supreme Court denied her. “This is not a modeling job; we are not working a catwalk.”