An employment tribunal has heard that an airline refused to hire male stewards because it would be assumed they were gay.

Alexandria Proud, a cabin crew manager is claiming unfair constructive dismissal against charter aircraft company Gama Aviation, based in Farnborough in Hampshire.

She claims she was forced to discriminate when hiring cabin crew staff due to employment regulations which dictated all employees must be young, female, single and no larger than a size 12.

Ms Proud also said she was banned from hiring male air stewards because of the stereotype of them being gay.

She said: “The successful candidate would be female, physically attractive, aged 18 to 30, single and no larger than a size 12.

“I was also specifically informed that if there was a male flight attendant it would be thought that he was gay and the owner would not tolerate such an individual on the aircraft.”

She told the tribunal that one owner, Alireza Ittehedeh, insisted on physically inspecting the candidates himself.

Ms Proud claims that she was verbally abused by the owners of the airline and was not supported by her employers.

She was signed off work with a stress-related illness last August.

The tribunal continues.