After nearly two years in the making, Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus is finally ready to unveil its brand new uniform this Wednesday. The airline has managed to keep most details about the new look threads under wraps but the Irish Times reports two significant changes – one very welcome and perhaps one that will raise some eyebrows.
First, it’s understood that the new look uniform for all of Aer Lingus’ frontline staff including cabin crew will now mainly be blue – moving away from the predominantly green fabric choices that have been a key feature of the uniform for decades.
Then, there’s the decision to finally allow female cabin crew the chance to wear trousers as part of their uniform – the first time since Aer Lingus was founded all the way back in 1936. The decision, while admittedly very late, will be welcomed by equal rights activists and follows hot on the heels of both Etihad Airways and Japan Airlines who recently introduced trouser options for female cabin crew.
At Etihad, the trousers were an add-on to the Ettore Bilotta-designed uniform introduced in 2014 and the airline says the option has proved to be very popular. Ground staff had always been allowed to wear trousers but airline executives initially excluded female cabin crew before finally relenting to demands last autumn.
Meanwhile, Japan Airlines will be kitting out its crew’s in new uniforms from April in time for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games and a trouser pant option for female staff will be an option for the first time. Last year, Virgin Atlantic also made it much easier for female cabin crew to choose trousers as part of their uniform entitlement, while Cathay Pacific lifted its trouser ban in 2018.
The Aer Lingus uniform has been under development since March 2018 when Irish designer Louise Kennedy was drafted in to create the new look. Kennedy is the woman behind Aer Lingus’ current ‘teal green’ uniform which was first unveiled more than three decades ago in 2018.
The new uniform was meant to be revealed last Spring, although it’s not clear what the reason for the delay was. When Aer Lingus does unveil the new look, however, it’s expected that the famous teal green colour will be replaced by a uniform that mainly blue in colour.
But while Aer Lingus is commonly associated with the green of the Emerald Isle, it hasn’t always been that way. The airline’s very first uniform was a military-style rich brown suit that only turned green a few years later.