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The budget airline said it was time for its female staff to wear a more comfortable uniform for work. Female air stewards often have to wear skirts, makeup and heels during flights in rules many feel are out of date.
The Ukrainian airline, SkyUp, said female inflight staff would be able to swap their uniform for the new outfits as early as next month.
Daria Solomennaya, a steward on the airline, told the BBC: “Many of my colleagues are permanent clients of podologists, their toes and toe-nails are constantly damaged by high heels.
“12 hours on your feet, flying from Kyiv to Zanzibar and back. If you wear high heels, you are hardly able to walk afterwards.”
The airline will now allow female staff to wear trouser suits and white trainers for work inflight.
Many female flight attendants have said they suffered damage to their feet and varicose veins from airline uniform heels.
A SkyUp executive said: “Times have changed, women have changed, so in contrast to the conservative classics, heels, red lipstick and a bun, a new more modern and comfortable image of a ‘champion’ has appeared.
“Freedom, natural beauty, individuality, no patterns and sneakers in which everyone would like to fly.”
Another SkyUp cabin crew member, Maryna Zaburanna, told Euronews: “On average, we spend six to 12 hours a day on board, so a comfortable uniform for us is an extremely important element of work.
“Shoes, even with heels, are, of course, beautiful, but it is not comfortable to stay in such shoes for a long time.”
Women working for the airline will still need to wear makeup but have more hair styling options according to its head of marketing.
In 2019, Virgin Atlantic changed its uniform rules so female staff no longer had to wear makeup for work.
The transatlantic airlines is known for its bright red uniforms which in 2014 were designed by Vivienne Westwood.
British Airways allows women cabin crew to wear trousers but still requires them to wear makeup on flights.
Its careers website states: “Our uniform standards require a groomed look that meets a conventional standard.
“Women need to have a styled look, with hair and makeup that would be appropriate in a professional environment and complements our uniform.
“Dyed hair must be of a natural colour for both men and women. A single ear piercing is allowed no more than 10mm in diameter.”
Some inflight staff are not a fan of SkyUp’s new rules. Kim Wijnands, an air steward who formerly worked for TUI, told Euronews she thought heels looked classy.
She said: “No pain, no gain. Although the uniform will be adjusted to be very comfortable and modern, in my opinion, it won’t be elegant.
“Heels look also more feminine, they emanate class and a sort of status. If they can make them just as elegant, safe, and representative I should say one big yes. But for the sneakers I should say one big no.”
Easyjet also turned heads with a new crew uniform this year as its staff now wear clothes made from recycled plastic bottles.
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