For 60 years, the sari was part of the Air India uniform. This could end soon when the airline introduces the new work uniform for its cabin crew.
Air India will unveil new uniforms for cabin crew in November. Indian fashion designer Manish Malhotra is responsible for the design. Indian newspaper Hindustan Times claims to have learned from sources close to the airline that the sari was available in the wardrobe.
Just like the sari is synonymous with India, Air India represents the country like no other airline. Even though Indigo has now reclaimed the title of the largest airline in the country, Air India remains the airline with the most international routes. It serves more than 60 international destinations on five continents.
New uniforms should continue to include traditional clothing... and colors of the new livery
There is speculation that sarees may be removed from the uniform range altogether. Other anonymous sources say the new look will continue to include traditional clothing. Both Air India and the fashion designer refuse to make an official statement.
What is certain is that male staff will continue to wear suits. “Churidars,” the traditional tight-fitting pants worn by men and women in South Asia, were introduced recently. Women usually wear pants with a tunic. However, the colors of the new uniforms are expected to match the new livery which combines deep red, aubergine and gold.
To emphasize the national character on international flights, the airline had introduced the sari as official attire for women in 1962. But, after about six decades, this may soon be over.