AirAsia’s head-turning hazmat uniforms

Face masks, protective face shields, gloves and safety glasses may well become the new norm for post-pandemic flight attendant attire.

But personal protective equipment (PPE) can still be a style statement, says the man behind the head-turning hazmat uniforms for AirAsia.

The Malaysian low-cost carrier recently returned to running domestic flights. Passengers must wear their own face masks and its flight attendants may soon be wearing these striking PPE uniforms.

Designed by Filipino fashion designer Puey Quinones to protect cabin crew from exposure to COVID-19, the uniforms look more like Formula One pit crew garb yet feature the airline’s signature bright red and personal protective equipment in the form of hoods, gloves, masks and face shields.

The uniforms have reportedly been approved by the Philippines government but whether it will be used on regular commercial services is yet to be confirmed, says the airline.

“We have undertaken a thorough review of our guest handling procedures both on ground and onboard in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said AirAsia group president Bo Lingham.

“We have been working closely with the airport authorities to ensure that all the relevant precautionary measures are in place to ensure a safe, pleasant and comfortable journey for everyone.”

 
 
 

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A post shared by pueyquinones (@pueyquinones) on Apr 24, 2020 at 6:14am PDT


AirAsia Philippines vice-chair and majority shareholder Sheila Romero says the new PPE uniform will protect the airline’s ‘Allstars’.

“It is the responsibility of each one to flatten the curve,” said Ms Romero.

“At the same time, the PPE is designed to proudly announce that we are AirAsia and we will rise up from this pandemic. I want to boost the morale of our staff when they wear this new uniform.”

 
 
 

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A post shared by pueyquinones (@pueyquinones) on Apr 28, 2020 at 6:37am PDT


The uniform is “fusion of fashion and safety”, says Ms Romero, and will define new standards of flying.

“I compared different fabrics that have been approved by the DOH (Department of Health) and even had a stress test done,” she said.

“The PPE is comfortable because it is not so thick and heavy, yet it serves its purpose. The material gives justice to the design. I like that it’s chic and sporty – similar to what F1 race car drivers wear.”

AirAsia isn’t the first or only airline to introduce protective uniforms for crew.

Philippine Airlines recently revealed protective uniforms designed by Filipino designer Edwin Tan. The white protective suits feature a red, yellow and blue-striped shoulder to honour the national flag.

Emirates crew also recently revealed new PPE uniforms for its flight crew to wear on flights during the coronavirus pandemic.

What do you think of the new uniforms??

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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