From the end of May, Japanese budget airline Skymark is rolling out a new Airbus A330-300 addition to its fleet. To mark the occasion, the airline is also introducing new uniforms for its female cabin crew. Very, very short uniforms.
Today, one of the largest papers in Japan, Mainichi, reported how the country's labour union for flight attendants has attempted to get the uniforms repealed over safety and sexual harassment concerns, calling them "dangerous" and a "job obstacle".
The safety concerns are over the length of the skirt, which shows significant skin, and, for example, it could cause injury should a flight attendant need to exit the plane via escape chute. It also probably makes doing basic duties more complicated if the staff always need to worry about their uniform. As for harassment, the union says the uniforms depict women as a sex object.
The uniforms, which you can see in the above Nikkei photo, are not permanent. They are part of a half-year campaign for three Skymark flight routes. Not all Skymark staff will wear the outfits.
The aviation section of Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Travel is investigating to see whether or not the uniforms are an obstacle to work safety, while the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare is examining whether this violates the employer's duty to protect staff from sexual harassment.
A Skymark spokesperson told Mainichi that the "stylish" uniforms were designed with safety and legal regulations in mind. The spokesperson added, "We are also getting consent from the cabin attendants who are scheduled to wear the uniforms."
The controversial outfits are schedule to go into use in late May.