Aer Lingus today revealed its first new uniform for 20 years. The new uniform sees cabin crew and ground staff given much more flexibility in what they wear while representing the airline. One of the highlights of the new uniform is that, for the first time ever, women have the option to wear trousers. Simple Flying was at the reveal in Dublin.
Just under a year ago, Aer Lingus revealed that it intended to complete a full rebrand. This will see the airline taking new aircraft, introducing a new livery, refreshing its lounge, and last but not least, the new uniform. The airline had originally planned to reveal the new uniform in 2019.
The new uniform adds far more flexibility on how it can be worn. Women now have the choice between trousers, a skirt and a dress. Previously, only the dress was an option. Meanwhile, men have the option of a full suit, or a shirt and pullover. They will also be issued with shoes for the first time. The colors are also different. The dress and trousers are a midnight blue color. Meanwhile, the skirt and blouses remain Aer Lingus’ signature ‘Kenmare Green’.
In total, 25 different pieces of clothing have been designed for the airline by Irish designer Louise Kennedy. This isn’t Kennedy’s first foray either, as she also designed the current uniform which has been in use for over 20 years.
Times have changed
However, things have changed a lot since the year 2000. This includes attitudes to uniform, alongside an increased awareness of the environmental impact of fashion. In fact, the fashion industry contributes around 10% of global emissions according to the United Nations, compared to just 2.5% from the aviation industry. As a result, the new uniform has been designed with sustainability and environmental impact as a high priority.
Female members of cabin crew will have much more flexibility over their uniforms. In addition to the choice of a skirt, trousers, or dress, the airline is also cutting the strictness of hair and makeup standards. Women will also be able to choose between wearing heels and flat shoes.
However, they won’t have to make the decision when they pick up the uniform. Each member of the cabin and ground crew will be issued every relevant piece of clothing. This means that the crew could opt to wear a skirt flying to Miami while choosing trousers for Chicago.
The new uniform will have an incredibly rapid rollout. The 4,000 staff that will wear it can start collecting it from tomorrow. Then, on the 10th of February, everybody will switch from the old uniform to the new uniform.
The uniform has been rigorously tested by Aer Lingus. This included both long and short-haul flights to a range of different climates. One member of the cabin crew at the unveiling mentioned that people had even tested it asleep!
With regards to the old uniform, well, Aer Lingus hasn’t decided what to do with it just yet. Dara McMahon, Director of Marketing and Digital Experience at Aer Lingus, told Simple Flying and other publications that the decision will be made when they know how much uniform has been returned, and what condition it is in.
What do you make of the new uniform? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.