4 airlines that got hot and bothered over stewardesses' uniforms

AirAsia's group CEO Tony Fernandes, DBS' Singapore Country Head, Sim S. Lim (left) and StarHub's CEO Tan Tong Hai, together with AirAsia staff. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
AirAsia's group CEO Tony Fernandes, DBS' Singapore Country Head, Sim S. Lim (left) and StarHub's CEO Tan Tong Hai, together with AirAsia staff. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
The president of Japan's Skymark Airlines, Shinichi Nishikubo (centre), and flight attendants posing for photographers during a press preview at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. The budget carrier Skymark Airlines drew fire on March 11, 2014 from a labour un
The president of Japan's Skymark Airlines, Shinichi Nishikubo (centre), and flight attendants posing for photographers during a press preview at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. The budget carrier Skymark Airlines drew fire on March 11, 2014 from a labour union of flight attendants, who has criticised its latest uniform - a super-short skirt which barely covers their thighs - may induce sexual harrassment. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Flight attendants for Cathay Pacific arriving at the international airport in Hong Kong on May 5, 2014. Cathay Pacific flight attendants want the Hong Kong airline to redesign their uniforms because they are too revealing and may provoke sexual haras
Flight attendants for Cathay Pacific arriving at the international airport in Hong Kong on May 5, 2014. Cathay Pacific flight attendants want the Hong Kong airline to redesign their uniforms because they are too revealing and may provoke sexual harassment, a union said on May 5. -- PHOTO: AFP

Love them or hate them, much of an airline's identity is derived from the uniforms its cabin crew wear. Most would agree that a flight attendant's outfit needs to look good and be practical for work, but the experience of these four airlines shows finding a balance can be tough.

Cathay Pacific

-- PHOTO: AFP

Cathay Pacific flight attendants were most recently in the news for wanting their uniforms redesigned because they are too revealing and may provoke sexual harassment, their union said.

Female cabin crew members complained that their white blouses were too short and red skirts too tight, leaving them uncomfortable at work, the Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union told AFP on Monday.

The uniform had apparently been a source of considerable complaint from female attendants since it was introduced in 2011 with some saying that the short blouse left their midriff exposed when they bent down.

Skymark Airlines

 

-- FILE PHOTO: AFP

Cathay Pacific's furore came less than a month after a Japanese budget airline flew into rough air over its decision to outfit its flight attendants in revealing miniskirts, also drawing criticism that it could invite sexual harassment.

The airline in question, Skymark Airlines, came under fire from the cabin crew’s labour union, which said the super-short skirt - with a distinctively swinging 1960s look - barely covers wearers’ thighs, reported AFP.

Its president Shinichi Nishikubo later told reporters: “We won’t impose the uniform on any of the cabin attendants who refuse to wear it... It is disappointing that the outfit designed in part for the ad campaign is being seen in a distorted way.”

Qantas

 

-- SCREENGRAB: THE DAILY MAIL

When Australian carrier Qantas engaged supermodel Miranda Kerr to model its new uniform in December 2013, it might not have expected the reaction from its cabin crew.

Being expected to wear the new black and fuchsia dress, they slammed it for being too sexy, impractically tight, and unflattering on anyone who doesn't have the curves of Orlando Bloom's ex-wife, reported the Daily Mail.

One stewardess was quoted as saying: 'The uniform looks fantastic on Miranda Kerr but unfortunately we don't all look like her."

AirAsia

 -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Popular budget airline AirAsia was hit by turbulence too in 2013, when Malaysian authorities saw red over its "sexy" uniform, which “did not reflect the national identity”.

According to news portal Malaysiakini, group chief executive Tony Fernandez staunchly defended the look, saying that crew members themselves designed the outfit, and that it was chosen because of its “universal features”.

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