Spain’s Ministry of Labor is investigating a report published by Spanish media outlet elDiario.es that claims Kuwait Airways required flight attendant applicants to strip to their underwear during recruitment days.
The accounts were told by “Bianca”, a flight attendant hopeful who attended the airline’s recruitment process in Madrid’s Melia Barajas Hotel in November 2022.
Bianca claimed that from the very beginning of the recruitment process, female applicants were given offensive comments such as, “We don’t like your smile” and “You have a roller coaster body.”
Bianca told elDiario.es that the shortlisted group, which she was part of, were ordered to enter a room one by one. They were then asked to unbutton their shirts, pull up sweaters and skirts. Bianca said that they had to stand wearing just their underwear in order for the recruiter to examine their bodies, which is an illegal practice in Spain.
Bianca said she was told that this had to be done so that scars, birthmarks, moles, or tattoos can be seen by the recruiter.
elDiaro.es contacted three other women who attended Kuwait Airways’ recruitment events in Spain, and all of their answers corroborated Bianca’s accounts.
On January 4, 2022, Kuwait Airways provided an official statement which was seen by online media aviacionline.com:
“Kuwait Airways, for the past five years, uses the same third-party cabin crew recruitment agency that 90% of the area’s airlines have utilized. As a highly reputable airline that has been employing people from across the globe in the 68 years since its establishment,” the airline said.
Kuwait Airways continued: “No such serious accusation has ever been made. We wish to highlight that Kuwait Airways can not condone any processes that humiliate or degrade any person. We wish to inform the public at this point that a full investigation is being conducted with all the parties and based on the findings, appropriate measures will be taken.”
According to Spanish news outlet La Vanguardia, Meccti, the third-party company responsible for the selection of Kuwait Airways’ candidates, denied the accusations and said it will sue Bianca.