Wednesday 16 April 2014

Airline's trouser ban overturned

Asiana has overturned its skirt-only policy

Female flight attendants at a South Korean airline have claimed victory in a long-running battle to overturn its skirts-only dress code.

Asiana Airlines’ 3,400 female cabin crew will be allowed to wear trousers for the first time from early next month, the carrier announced in a statement.

Its decision ends a 25-year ban on the garment, and comes after the country’s human rights commission ruled it discriminatory.

The airline, which operates 85 international routes and 14 domestic ones, is renowned for the strict dress code it has traditionally enforced on female flight attendants.

As well as banning them from wearing trousers, other rules outline how make-up should be worn, the acceptable length of earrings, and the number of hair pins allowed. A ban on wearing glasses was overturned in January.

Asiana had argued that its skirt-only policy improves the aesthetic appearance of its flight attendants, emphasising the company’s brand of “high-class Korean beauty”, and claimed it was needed for the airline to stay competitive.

But the U-turn was announced after the commission made a non-binding recommendation in February urging South Korea’s country’s second largest airline to abandon its policy.

Oliver Smith

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