Egyptian Member of Parliament Galila Othman has been criticized for remarks she made about EgyptAir's female flight attendants.

During a recent meeting of the House of Representatives' Committee on Tourism and Civil Aviation, Othman disparaged the appearance of some of the national carrier's flight attendants and described them as "overweight" and "old".

"There are no standards. We need dress and weight codes," she told The Associated Press (AP)

The union of Egyptian flight attendants has since denounced Othman's comments and deemed them as discriminatory.

Citing AP, the Washington Post reports that Othman has requested that the parliament discuss the appearance and "proper weight" of EgyptAir flight attendants with the country's Civil Aviation Minister Sharif Fathi.

"They shouldn’t work until they are 50. We should move them to other jobs," Othman told AP. 

On Monday, the union of Egyptian flight attendants responded to Othman's statements and accused her of "moral abuse" and "discrimination against women".

In a statement, the union said the only standard flight attendants are judged upon is whether or not they are medically fit to fly, which is assessed by a specialized committee.

The statement added that the lawmaker is supposed to "help citizens and employees deal with their concerns, and take their morale into consideration, instead of offending them".

Additionally, the union called upon the aviation minister to "find diplomatic solutions" regarding the Arab airlines that have decided not to renew the contracts of flight attendants that are over 50 years of age.

In response to the controversy, MP Ghada Ajami has defended Othman's stance, saying "some jobs require a certain appearance and constant supervision on weight and general appearance," according to local media.

Ajami went on to say that these standards are international, as they affect customer satisfaction.

"The passenger should not have to deal with [someone who smells like] a bag of onions, for example, nor one with messy hair," she said.

Despite the outrage, MP Othman reiterated her remarks in an interview

Speaking to Egyptian television host Amr Adeeb, Othman said the union blew her words out of proportion.

"All I said is that we need to improve our hospitality services in EgyptAir," she contended, adding that the national carrier has deteriorated when it comes to appearance standards.

She went on to state that the company needs to impose standards on everything from weight and height, to approach and attitude, in order to boost tourism and reflect a good image of Egypt.

She also suggested that the airline get hairdressers, stylists, and manicurists to make sure flight attendants look good. 

Othman then asked: "Can a news reporter go on television without makeup and a hairdo? So, what is the difference in this case?"