European budget airline Ryanair has vowed to avoid the fuel surcharges many of its competitors are now passing on to passengers, so it’s instituted a variety of measures to reduce the gas required for each trip. Among them? Asking flight attendants to lose weight.

A lighter plane means a need for less fuel, so the company now brings less ice on board each flight and has swapped out glassware for plastic. In addition, magazine racks are gone, the in-flight magazine is printed on thinner paper, and seats and beverage carts now weigh less. The carrier even considered — and rejected — an idea to remove the armrests between seats.

Now Ryanair has dangled a (low-calorie) carrot in front of its flight attendants, too: trim down and they’ll have the chance to be featured in the airline’s annual charity calendar.

“We cut costs wherever possible, and [all] the changes will represent a significant reduction in weight,” said Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for Ryanair. “Fuel is an integral part of the fare – you can’t fly passengers anywhere without it. We would rather make cost reductions and charge passengers for other services.”

[Telegraph]