Air India Unveils Snazzy New Employee Uniforms

Air India Unveils Snazzy New Employee Uniforms

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After being privatized, Air India is in the process of reinventing itself. The airline is investing hugely in modernizing its fleet and improving the passenger experience. This includes ordering 470 new aircraftintroducing new cabinsretrofitting existing aircraft, and completely rebranding. The airline has now revealed the next step of its transformation, which includes new employee uniforms.

Air India’s new Manish Malhotra-designed uniforms

Air India has today unveiled new uniforms for its flight attendants and pilots, “marking the arrival of a new age of inflight couture.” The new uniforms are designed by Indian couturier Manish Malhotra, and are described as “mirroring a rare, harmonious blend of rich Indian heritage and aesthetics with 21st-century style, elegance, and comfort.” The color palette for the uniforms is comprised of deep red, burgundy, aubergine, and accents of gold.

New Air India employee uniforms

These new uniforms will be rolled out in a phased manner over the coming months, coinciding with the introduction of Air India’s first Airbus A350.

Here’s how Air India CEO Campbell Wilson describes the new uniforms:

“Air India’s crew uniforms are amongst the world’s most storied in aviation history, and we firmly believe that Manish Malhotra’s innovative ensemble will script an exciting new chapter for Air India’s future narrative. It perfectly captures the essence of our new identity, service principles, and our pursuit of setting new benchmarks in global aviation.”

Here’s how Manish Malhotra describes the uniforms he designed for Air India:

“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to design the uniforms for Air India. It is a privilege to be able to contribute to the national flag-bearer and showcase the elegance and charm of Indian fashion. My aim was to create uniforms that capture the essence of India’s diverse culture and traditions while also embodying a modern and sophisticated look. By incorporating quintessential hues that are symbolic to India, I hope that these uniforms not only make the crew feel proud but also leave a lasting impression on the guests, representing the warmth and hospitality that India is known for.”

The female cabin crew uniform features a ready-to-wear ombré saree with intricate patterns reminiscent of Indian heritage architecture and the Vista, paired with a blouse and blazer. Female cabin crew also have the choice to wear comfortable pants, to provide more flexibility.

The ombré sarees for the senior female cabin crew will be aubergine-to-burgundy, combined with aubergine blazers, “exuding a balance of authority and sophistication.” Conversely, junior female cabin crew will wear vibrant red-to-purple ombré sarees combined with red blazers, “embodying youthfulness and energy.”

Air India cabin crew uniforms
Air India cabin crew uniforms
Air India cockpit crew uniforms
Air India cockpit crew uniforms

I’m really impressed by Air India’s new uniforms!

At first glance I’m a big fan of Air India’s new uniforms. The uniforms strike the perfect balance between being modern and traditional, and I appreciate that it sounds like comfort was also a major consideration, as it should be.

Now, admittedly we’re going to have to wait to see how these uniforms look in person, how they age with use, and how employees wear them. The airline exclusively chose young, slender employees for these photo shoots, so that’s not representative of the overall workforce.

Lastly, at the end of the day, the single most important thing about airline employee uniforms is that they’re comfortable, and that employees feel good wearing them. If employees have a sense of pride in their appearance and their company when wearing these uniforms, that’s the single greatest benefit that could come from this, in terms of morale and service level.

Bottom line

Air India has unveiled new employee uniforms, designed by Manish Malhotra. Air India is reinventing itself in just about every way, and now employee uniforms are getting an upgrade as well. I’m impressed by these new uniforms, and hope they look as good in person as they do in these media images.

What do you make of Air India’a new uniforms?

Conversations (14)
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  1. Henry Young Guest

    Love AI - a real sleeping giant. Plus as a vegetarian, that's the 50% default food option - no special meal booking needed. BUT - never transfer at DEL - get an eVisa a do the immigration out/in thing. I love the pot luck aspect of getting a working screen too - adds some extra excitement ;)

  2. Julia Guest

    Lets hope the changes to other aspects of the airline follows the changes in uniforms as well (which are actually pretty nice).

  3. DT Gold

    So to sum it up:
    Sari, not sari.

  4. Iowan Guest

    AI sucks! Let’s get that out of our way.

    Their new uniforms are amazing. Manish Malhotra is a very respected designer.

    I particularly like how they gave fully covered blouses yet retained the saree look. It is functional and classy. The air hostesses will appreciate this.

  5. Sarthak Guest

    @Ben in related news, AI also updated https://simpleflying.com/air-india-makes-changes-to-its-massive-airbus-order/

    Skewed towards A350-1000 earlier but now a lot more of them shifted to A350-900.

  6. snic Diamond

    Interesting that for female cabin crew (but not male? Although the guys do seem to have different colored jackets, too), the uniforms differ in color according to how "senior" the crewmember is. Does that refer to age, or just how long they've been working for the airline? Does any other airline differentiate uniforms according to seniority or age? (I don't mean by rank, e.g. a different uniform for pursor vs regular FA, which I can understand.)

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      "Does that refer to age, or just how long they've been working for the airline?"

      It's by rank.

  7. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    These look amazing!

    Usually when airlines have a uniform reveal, my response is "they felt the need to have a press conference for THIS??"

    But these are worthy of the attention!!

  8. Nate nate Guest

    Thats cool that Female cabin crew have the choice to pantsuits.

    The Nehru jacket on the guys also looks really nice.

  9. breathesrain Gold

    These look great, though I'm curious why they didn't show any male cabin crew? I'd guess that outfit is a bit toned down in comparison.

    1. Sean M. Diamond

      There are at least 5 male cabin crew uniforms featured on the models in the pictures posted here.

    2. breathesrain Gold

      Oh right, so toned down I didn't see them at first glance, haha. At least they still get a cool jacket

  10. Saurabh Guest

    Ben,
    I recently flew the Vistara business class from Frankfurt to Delhi on Nov 27th... ended up being a 35+ hour trip!!

    Apparently Emirates and Air India took off at the same time, but Vistara gave an excuse of 'oh there is snow and we cannot'. We boarded at 9:30pm -> waited -> taxiied at 11:30pm -> deplaned at 2am.

    No hotel, no reimbursement, no water. I ended up getting a Marriott...

    Ben,
    I recently flew the Vistara business class from Frankfurt to Delhi on Nov 27th... ended up being a 35+ hour trip!!

    Apparently Emirates and Air India took off at the same time, but Vistara gave an excuse of 'oh there is snow and we cannot'. We boarded at 9:30pm -> waited -> taxiied at 11:30pm -> deplaned at 2am.

    No hotel, no reimbursement, no water. I ended up getting a Marriott at 4am in the morning on my own dime. Vistara ground staff at Delhi was even worse as they flat out refused to help me as they didn't get "any info from Frankfurt". It has been 2+ weeks and no response whatsoever from Vistara customer relations other than "we got your complaint". (you should probably discuss EU regulations in one of the posts as I don't see a way to claim refund if the airline is claiming 'weather' and... they can claim anything)

    Frankly ground staff of Vistara is not much better than Air India. Both are terrible as I could see all passengers tired of complaining. Unsure if having new planes or livery is going to do much to a soft product that is clearly sub-par vs. almost all airlines I have flown so far.

  11. Guest Guest

    “The airline exclusively chose young, slender employees for these photo shoots, so that’s not representative of the overall workforce.”
    —-um it pretty much is, except on US based airlines

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Guest Guest

“The airline exclusively chose young, slender employees for these photo shoots, so that’s not representative of the overall workforce.” —-um it pretty much is, except on US based airlines

3
Sean M. Diamond

There are at least 5 male cabin crew uniforms featured on the models in the pictures posted here.

2
TravelinWilly Diamond

"Does that refer to age, or just how long they've been working for the airline?" It's by rank.

1
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