Air France plane..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Air France's plans to resume flights to Iran have continued to draw ire among members of the airline's cabin staff as gay aircrew last week launched a petition against being "forced" to work on flights to the Islamic Republic.
The petition, written on behalf of a group of gay airline stewards, charged that it was "inconceivable" that they would be ordered to travel to Iran where homosexuality is outlawed and punishable by execution.
The latest objection by Air France workers came mere days after the airline said last Monday that it would permit female cabin crew
and pilots to opt out of Paris-Tehran flights after some staff said they did not want to be forced to wear head coverings when in Iran.
The new appeal directed to the French government and Air France CEO Frédéric Gagey was posted under the title 'Gay stewards from Air France don't want to fly to the death penalty in Iran' on the online petition platform change.org. So far, it has garnered over 2,400 signatories.
"Sure, our sexuality isn't written on our passports and it doesn't change the way we work as a crew," read the petition that was posted by a representative 'Laurent M.' "But it is inconceivable to force someone to go to a country where his kind are condemned for who they are."
However, French outlet The Local cited a gay steward from Air France's LGBT union as saying the position was not upheld by the group.
"This is not an idea we support. We cannot have lists of people based on their sexuality," the Local cited the source as saying.
"If gay stewards don't want to fly to Iran, then there are around 20 other destinations where gay rights are not recognized that they would have to opt out of too."
Air France, part of the Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM , is preparing to restart flights to Tehran from April 17 after an eight-year hiatus due to sanctions.