Singapore Airlines will no longer make flight attendants, and pilots wear face masks, a spokesperson for the city-state carrier has confirmed. The mask mandate for flight crew will be lifted on June 1 – nearly a year after a similar mandate for passengers was lifted.
Some flight attendants, however, have raised concerns about the policy because, unlike many other airlines, Singapore Airlines has indicated that crew shouldn’t wear a mask even if they want to.
According to the Straits Times, the famously strict airline has sent a memo to cabin crew telling them that they should not wear face masks from June 1 so as to maintain a “unified and consistent approach” in the Singapore Airlines iconic uniform.
The policy will also apply to pilots and flight attendants working for Scoot, a low-cost subsidiary of the Singapore Airlines Group. Some flight attendants told local media that they wanted to continue to wear face masks on flights to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.
In a statement, the airline said that “in tandem with the Singapore Government’s move towards the endemic new norm, it will be stepping down the mask-wearing requirement for its flight crew with effect from June 1”.
“This helps our flight crew adopt a consistent and unified approach while operating flights,” the statement continued. “Our crew will continue to adhere to the robust health and safety measures implemented on board to safeguard the well-being of our customers and staff.”
Masks will remain mandatory for both passengers and crew on a handful of routes where mandates are still enforced.
The airline later said that crew members would be allowed to wear a face mask on non-mandatory routes but that managers would “seek to better understand the crew’s concerns and work with them to see how we can help better safeguard their welfare during flights.”
Singapore Airlines dropped its passenger mask mandate on August 29, 2022, after Singapore dramatically relaxed some of the toughest pandemic restrictions in the world.
Through its ‘Singapore Girl’ branding, Singapore Airlines has some of the strictest uniform and grooming regulations of any airline in the world. Last year, a leading women’s rights organisation claimed the airline’s iconic sarong Kebaya uniform had “distinctly fetishistic, Orientalist undertones”.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.