Virgin Atlantic becomes first global airline to allow cabin crew display tattoos

Image Credit Wikimedia Author Eluveitie

Virgin Atlantic is looking towards an inclusivity policy as it no longer requires its cabin crew to conceal tattoos that might be present on arms and legs. Earlier, the concealment ban had been present for tattoos on all parts of the body. The new change in policy comes at a time when airlines continue to face a shortage of staff including pilots and cabin crew as well as increase in duration of flights as routes avoid certain air spaces due to the war in Ukraine.

The Guardian was the first outlet to break the news of lifting of tattoos and Business Insider also confirmed the news.

Estelle Hollingsworth, who is the chief people’s officer at Virgin Atlantic said that many people used tattoos “to express their unique identities.” The officer added that their “customer-facing and uniformed colleagues should not be excluded” from exhibiting tattoos, if they wished to do so.

It must be remembered that cabin crew and others still face a ban on neck, head and facial tattoos. However, these tattoos are under review. Virgin reiterated that tattoos of swear words or those that referred to nudity or violence would remain banned.

There have been repeated calls for loosening the rigid dress code for airline employees especially female cabin crew, in the past. Emirates used to reportedly monitor the weight and body mass index (BMI) of its flight attendants.

Virgin has been in the forefront of dropping rules skewed against female employees as it dropped a requirement for female employees to wear makeup, in 2019. It also provided trousers as a standard uniform, instead of providing them only on request, according to an earlier report in The Guardian.

A spokesperson told Insider that the company had planned to recruit 300 cabin crew members as summer travel would peak soon and they were also looking at new routes. Virgin Atlantic had got 5,000 applications early this year, in January, when the airline had posted jobs for 400 open roles.

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