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Who wears the pants? Cabin crew decision

April 4, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

What should female cabin crew wear as part of their airline uniform – skirts or trousers? A major airline serving Australia has just reached a decision.

After a lengthy struggle against a rule forcing them to wear skirts, female cabin crew at Cathay Pacific have triumphed.

Intense union pressure helped. The Hong Kong airline has finally agreed to let its female flight attendants wear trousers if they wish, but only when a new uniform offering the option is introduced.

Some crew have complained that wearing short skirts made them feel uncomfortable, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported. The airline has been skirts-only since it was founded in 1946 – by an Australian, Sydney de Kantzow, along with his American friend Roy Farrell.

No trousers here! Cathay Pacific flight attendants show off the airline’s unforms over the decades in 2013 to mark Airbus’s delivery of its 1000th A330 to the airline


Flight attendants have been asking for a workwear refresh since 2014 – saying their skirts are too revealing.

The feeling among flight attendants is that skirts present challenges when putting bags in overhead lockers or taking public transport to and from work. Trousers overcome these problems and are less likely to provoke sexual harassment.

Don’t expect to see any immediate change. Unions say the trousers won’t appear until Cathay next refreshes its staff uniforms – and that could take three years.

Written by Peter Needham

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