With AirAsia Philippines tentatively due to restart some flights in May, the airline is also trialing a new look for its cabin crew. As the flights resume, the cabin crew will be dressed head to toe in a PPE boiler suit with matching medical mask, protective visor, and disposable gloves.
While the airline’s spin doctors are pushing the new look with words like chic, sporty, fusion, and safety, it is fair to say the new uniforms lack the allure of the former look.
Designer boilersuits to help ensure the safety of crew and passengers
There’s a perfectly good reason for the new look. AirAsia Philippines wants to ensure the safety of its crew and passengers as it begins flying again. The head to toe inflight PPE look is gaining currency in South East Asia. Just last week, Simple Flying reported on the new PPE uniforms Philippines Airlines cabin crew are now wearing.
The new uniforms are designed by LA-based designer Puey Quinones. The new-look capitalizes on AirAsia’s signature color, red, and has been given the tick of approval by the Philippines Department of Health. AirAsia Philippines is scheduled to resume domestic flying in The Philippines on 15 May.
New uniform commissioned by AirAsia Philippines
Several media outlets and websites are reporting that the PPE uniforms will be rolled out across the wider AirAsia group. This appears not to be the case. AirAsia Philippines commissioned this new uniform for its cabin crew. Whether other AirAsia affiliate airlines roll out the new look is yet to be confirmed.
However, various AirAsia affiliate airlines plan to resume domestic flying. Flights are slated to re-start in Malaysia tomorrow, and Thai AirAsia, Indonesian AirAsia, and India AirAsia are all getting ready to begin domestic flying in the next ten days. It is an ambitious schedule with the potential to go awry.
Sheila Romero, vice chairman of AirAsia Philippines, said in a statement;
“The PPE is comfortable because it is not so thick and heavy yet it serves its purpose.
“I like that it’s chic and sporty-similar to what Formula One race car drivers wear.
“This fusion of fashion and safety will define the new standards of flying today.”
Changes for passengers on AirAsia Philippines
It isn’t just the crew who will be sporting a new look when flying on AirAsia Philippines in the immediate future. Passengers will be required to bring their own masks. They will need to wear them when checking in, when inflight, and when collecting baggage. It is a far cry from more relaxed regimes concerning face masks on most other airlines. In the absence of evidence that face masks prevent the spreading of the virus, most airlines do not require passengers to wear them.
Further, all passengers and crew will have to undergo temperature checks before boarding. Hand luggage will also be restricted to 5 kilograms so to make it easier to maintain social distancing.
Whatever you think of the new look, cabin crew in PPE boiler suits may become more and more common. It may be particularly so in parts of the world, like southeast Asia, that are densely populated and often home to viral outbreaks. It’s something they are used to. For the rest of us, it is something we may have to get used to.