Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia, Tune Hotels and team principal of the Caterham F1 group has recently tweeted his latest ‘Weekend Uniform’ for his Air Asia cabin crew. Whilst this ‘dressed down’ look of Short sleeve shirts and jeans looks more like easyJet’s original outfits, it’s definitely continuing the feel of F1 within his fleet of planes (forgive the photo quality).
AirAsia’s original uniform is created by HPE clothing, whose main manufacturing is within the racing circuit (no pun intended). So it is easy to see why the current uniform and now the weekend uniform make the girls look like Pit Stop girls for a racing team – all we need is for them to walk down the airplane’s isle holding the safety cards like ‘2 minutes to go’ cards. I have to say, I don’t mind the idea of two different uniforms, one being more relaxed for weekend leisure travellers, but the uniform is more than just a brand image, it shows a sense of security for passengers, who can easily find cabin crew in case of an emergency and also shows professionalism within the air – something that low cost carriers, unfairly, have a reputation for not having. easyJet moved away from their jeans and shirt combo for good reason to lift the product up, and whilst the markets are different in Asia and Europe, it makes me wonder how long this ‘weekend uniform’ will last.
As an aside, the colour red seems to be very dominant in Australasia right now for uniforms. Amongst others, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Kingfisher, Cathay Pacific, Air China and Air Asia all wear this colour, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate them within an airport as they walk through. Whilst it is a very lucky colour within Asian cultures, I would expect airlines trying to give themselves a colour to stand them apart from their competitors.