Skymark Airlines Inc.’s miniskirt uniform for cabin attendants has drawn fire from a group of cabin attendants who claim it will disturb operations and possibly induce sexual harassment.
In December, budget carrier Skymark, which exclusively used Boeing planes, announced it would fly 10 Airbus A330-300s for the first time on its Haneda-Fukuoka flights starting this spring.
To promote the Airbus flights, it also unveiled a miniskirt uniform for cabin attendants who will be working on the midsize plane.
The uniform has drawn criticism from the Japan Federation of Cabin Attendants, which is part of the Japan Federation of Aviation Worker’s Union. The uniform has also stirred intense debate on the Internet.
The group claimed that the uniform is inappropriate for the work performed by cabin attendants, which includes stretching high up and kneeling down.
“Article 73-3 of the Civil Aeronautics Act states ‘prohibition of safety-impeding acts,’ which includes sexual harassment. The duties of cabin attendants are to prevent these (incidents) beforehand, but we are concerned that the design of the uniform might induce such disturbing acts,” the federation said in a statement released on its blog on Feb. 25.
“Moreover, (Skymark) is treating women as products, as it is advertising that this uniform will attract customers. We have to doubt the morality of the company,” which should make safety its No. 1 priority, it said.
The federation said it has received comments from cabin attendants, although it is not clear which airlines they work for.
Some said those who wear the uniform will need to be careful about being secretly photographed, distracting them from their jobs.
A Skymark spokesman said the carrier is not treating women as products and explained that the uniform is part of its campaign to promote the debut of the A330, which seats 271.
“The A330 will debut for the first time in Japan from Skymark. And the inside of the plane is very comfortable with Green Seats, which have more space between the seats. We want people to know about it, so we’ve adopted the (new) design of the uniform,” the spokesman said.
He said the uniform does not affect the safety of the plane, and that the firm has not directly received complaints from the federation.
Skymark also said the miniskirt uniform will be used during the six-month campaign period starting May 31 and will only be worn by the cabin attendants who serve on the A330.
After six months, the airline will revert to its regular uniform, Skymark said.