Qatar Airways cabin crew to wear hazmat suits


Qatar Airways cabin crew to wear hazmat suits
Qatar Airways crew will wear a PPE suit over their uniforms, along with safety goggles, gloves and a mask. PHOTO | COURTESY

Flight attendant uniforms have evolved considerably over the years, with styles adapting to reflect fashion trends, along with the changing world.

However, it’s unlikely any designer could have predicted its latest incarnation.

Qatar Airways is one of several airlines to introduce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits for its cabin crew in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

From now onwards, all flight attendants for Qatar’s flag carrier will wear a hazmat suit over their uniforms, along with safety goggles, gloves and a mask during flights.

In addition, passengers will be required to wear face coverings or masks on all its flights from May 25.

The airline recommends that travelers bring their own “for fit and comfort purposes.”

According to an official statement, Qatar Airways’ cabin crew have already been wearing PPE, such as masks and gloves, during flights for a number of weeks.

However, the added “temporary” measures were introduced as an extra precaution.

“At Qatar Airways, we have introduced these additional safety measures onboard our flights to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of our passengers and cabin crew, and to limit the spread of coronavirus,” says Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker.

“As an airline, we maintain the highest possible hygiene standards to ensure that we can fly people home safely during this time and provide even greater reassurance that safety is our number one priority.”

In addition, the airline will be equipped with large bottles of hand sanitizers, which can be used by both cabin crew and passengers.

The move comes weeks after Philippines Airlines and AirAsia reportedly launched new uniforms that incorporate PPE.

Philippines Airlines’ offering is said to have been devised by designer Edwin Tan, who used hospital gowns for inspiration, while AirAsia’s uniform was reportedly dreamed up by Puey Quinones, who described the protective gear as “the new normal.”

Qatar is one of many airlines to insist passengers wear face coverings or masks while flying, following guidance from the CDC.

However, there seems to be some confusion on US airlines with regards to customers and masks.

While Southwest Airlines has advised flight crews to refrain from stopping passengers from boarding if they refuse to wear a mask, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN, American Airlines’ policy insists customers “may be denied boarding” for not wearing a mask.

However, JetBlue Airways policy states: “Customers who refuse to comply with our policy will be denied boarding.”

At present, the FAA and TSA have not introduced any government-enforced rules making masks mandatory for passengers.

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