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Global Airlines Are Debuting New Flight Attendant Uniforms

AirAsia and Philippine Airlines personal protective equipment-integrated uniforms.
Credit: Edwin Tan/ Puey Quiñones

Some flight attendants are sporting a new type of uniform: one that protects them from the novel coronavirus while still maintaining the style and glamour associated with the profession.

Airlines frequently work with designers to outfit their employees both in the skies on the ground. The typical intention for the collaborations is style and practicality. In the age of the coronavirus, however, that focus is shifting towards safety.

While most airlines have been forced to largely shutter operations due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, planes are still flying. Among the reasons for the few remaining international flights is repatriation, where airlines have been tasked with bringing citizens back to their home countries.

The flights don’t come without risk, however, as social distancing is nearly impossible to achieve in the skies with aircraft in their current form and the demand for repatriation so high.

Concerned about potential safety issues arising from the flights, some airlines have once again turned to designers for a new look.

  • Airlines are turning to designers for stylish uniforms that integrate personal protective equipment.
  • Philippines Airlines and AirAsia have both incorporated the uniforms on international repatriation and rescue flights, with the latter opting not to continue their use when normal flights resume.
  • Global airlines including Emirates and Thai Airways are also introducing personal protective equipment elements to existing uniforms and mandating customers wear masks and/or gloves.


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