Philippine Airlines To Offer Its Flight Attendants Full Protective Gear

Philippine Airlines is taking a bold step and offering protective gear to its flight attendants starting this month. This should give its flight attendants a little extra peace of mind in the midst of this global coronavirus pandemic.

Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines is offering its flight attendants full protective gear. Photo: Airbus

What the airline is providing

Philippine Airlines is offering its flight attendants full protective gear to operate flights. The uniform is specially designed for the airline with the colors of the airline and flag of the country.

The suit is extensive, covering flight attendants from head to toe with hospital-style uniforms. The red, yellow, and blue stripe is representative of the flag of the Philippines. For now, the gear is only being provided for crews operating repatriation flights as the airline has grounded regularly scheduled commercial operations until at least April 30th.

PAL A321neo
The airline is only operating repatriation flights until April 30th. Photo: Airbus

Not just in the Philippines

Philippines crews will join Taiwanese flight crews in receiving full protective gear. While Taiwanese flight attendants receive glasses for eye protection, Philippine Airlines is providing its flight attendants full face shields.

777W PAL
Philippine Airlines joins Taiwan in giving full personal protective gowns, masks, and gloves to flight attendants. Photo: Boeing

Around the world, flight crews are receiving more protection. Most airlines, however, are only offering their flight attendants face masks and gloves at most. Other flights where crews have received full protective equipment are on specially operated rescue flights for hard-hit coronavirus centers.

Is this the new norm?

Airlines, in a sense, have a herd mentality. When one airline makes a change, others tend to follow at various speeds. This one, however, is a little different. To see this kind of operation on rescue and repatriation flights makes sense as those flights are operating with robust health procedures in mind.

Philippine Airlines To Offer Its Flight Attendants Full Protective Gear
Flight attendant uniforms are a mix of professional and stylish. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Flight attendant uniforms have evolved over time. They serve a dual nature as being both practical and professional. And for airlines, flight attendants are tied to the company’s image. One strong example is the “Singapore Girl” from Singapore Airlines.

Philippine Airlines To Offer Its Flight Attendants Full Protective Gear
For some airlines, like Singapore, flight attendant uniforms are a significant part of the airline’s brand. Photo: Singapore Airlines

For many people, seeing a flight attendant wearing this gear would be a bit jarring to say the least. Just in terms of optics, it could present the visual that flying is not as safe from a health standpoint. Furthermore, providing this gear to every flight attendant around the world would require a considerable investment and take plenty of time by which point, hopefully, the coronavirus epidemic would have subsided.

Philippine Airlines

The flag carrier has embarked on some major expansion these last few years. In January, Philippine Airlines strengthened its US flights with new Seattle and Los Angeles flights. In December, the airline announced a nonstop Manila to Perth connection.

Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines has ruffled some feathers at United over its proposed US expansion. Photo: Boeing

However, its expansion has not been without its controversy. United Airlines has taken a stand against the airlines’ proposed expansion due to its own issues getting slots in Manila– the carrier’s hub.


Philippine Airlines is offering its flight attendants enhanced protective equipment that is similar to what many will see in hospitals. This move is currently in place for repatriation flights.

What do you make about Philippine Airlines’ new uniforms? Do you think more carriers need to adopt this?

Simple Flying reached out to Philippine Airlines for comment. However, the carrier was not immediately available to respond.