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Qatar Airways Cabin Crew Will Now Be Allowed to Post Photos of Themselves in Uniform On Social Media

Qatar Airways Cabin Crew Will Now Be Allowed to Post Photos of Themselves in Uniform On Social Media

a woman in a red hat

The new boss of Qatar Airways has abolished a controversial rule which meant that cabin crew at the Doha-based airline could be terminated if they posted a photo of themselves in uniform on popular social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

Qatar Airways has traditionally managed its cabin crew workforce with some of the strictest rules in the entire aviation industry, but new chief executive Eng. Badr Al Meer has promised a “new era” in which “a culture of trust and empowerment will be the building blocks of our shared success.”

Al Meer quickly relaxed a long-criticised nighttime curfew rule for cabin crew when he took the helm at the state-run airline last November, and now the new CEO has moved to bring other work rules closer to international norms across the region.

Cabin crew at the carrier were told on Friday that they would be allowed to post photos of themselves on social media with immediate effect without the risk of facing disciplinary action.

In the past and under the direction of former CEO Akbar Al Baker, cabin crew who posted photos of themselves in the airline’s burgandy-cloured uniform faced instant dismissal and deportation out of Qatar.

That’s not to say that there weren’t photos of Qatar Airways cabin crew on various social media platforms but these were nearly only ever posted after the crew member had handed in their notice.

This isn’t the first time Qatar Airways has relaxed its social media policy for cabin crew. In 2016, the airline allowed crew members to identify themselves as Qatar Airways employees on social media for the first time, but just weeks later, the carrier faced a backlash as a result of a crew member’s post in uniform.

In that case, a male crew member was pictured holding up two abayas that a couple of female passengers had abandoned on a flight to Europe. Female passengers in the Middle East often dress conservatively when they board a flight but then change their dress just before arriving in Europe.

The crew member was suspended and then terminated for allegedly mocking the local culture, while Qatar Airways quickly rescinded its relaxed approach to social media.

The new policy does, however, bring Qatar Airways in line with regional rivals like Emirates and Etihad Airways, who encourage staffers to post photos of themselves as a form of free marketing.

Some airlines, however, still threaten cabin crew with the prospect of dismissal if they post photos of themselves in uniform on social media. One of the most famous examples is Singapore Airlines, which closely guards the image of its sarong Kabaya-wearing cabin crew.

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