Air India (AI) seems set to get a makeover of sorts. The ailing airline’s airhostesses could soon sport kurtis, churidars and trousers as the national carrier plans a more contemporary look for its cabin crew in a competitive market that has seen its maharaja charm wear off.
AI had some months ago approached the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to design new uniforms for cabin crew and ground staff. “NIFT has submitted three designs — one for ground staff and two for cabin crew. The designs are likely to be shortlisted next week,” a senior AI official said.
The red-white-black coloured sari has for years been the official uniform for airhostesses in AI. “We have decided to retain the sari, which is widely regarded as a symbol of Indian culture. But to offer a more contemporary look we plan to give our cabin crew a choice of uniform on both domestic and international sectors,” the official said.
AI plans to offer a choice between sari and churidar kurti on the domestic routes to its airhostesses and kurti and trousers on the international sector. As of now, on international routes cabin crew have had the option of wearing churidar kurti.
“It’s a good idea as one should change with times but as AI is also the flag carrier, the sari would always be an integral part of the uniform,” said Rajji Rai, chairman of Swift Travel International Ltd.