Air India to debut new uniforms on April 14
In the latest circular to its crew members, Air India has finally set a new deadline for the launch of its new mustard yellow uniform as April 14. However, the notification has not broached the ongoing issue raised by its crew about reimbursement of stitching charges for the uniform.
Crew members have complained that the new uniforms do not portray the identity of Air India
The national carrier’s crew members have been demanding reimbursement for the stitching cost they would have to incur for the new uniforms. After missing the first deadline last month, Air India had issued a circular, asking its crew to prepare themselves for the launch in the first week of April.
A recent circular set the new date as April 14, stating, “The date coincides with the onset of spring, which is celebrated in various parts of India in different forms viz. Baisakhi, symbolising mustard which is a dominant colour in the new uniform.”
The letter also mentioned that crew members departing before the launch date on long-haul flights will have to carry a set of the new uniform, so that they can start wearing it from April 14. A crew member, who conveyed his complaints to the airline as well, said, “My tailor has asked for Rs 6,550, which is the cheapest quote that I’ve come across till now.
If we go by the last issued reimbursement circular by the airline, a big part of the stitching cost would end up going from my pocket. A senior official had unofficially given the number of one Heritage Tailors (see box), who is quoting 30 per cent more than the reimbursement circular rates.
Other tailors are charging almost 100 per cent more.” “Not only is the dress material inferior quality, but also the uniform does not stand out from other airlines (Jet Airways’ uniform is yellow). What’s more, the design and quality of male crew members’ uniform is quite pedestrian; it has nothing that would differentiate them from passengers,” said a senior crew member. Even crew members in Hyderabad have expressed their dismay to the management.
The letter written by them (mid-day has a copy) states, “The new uniform has no flaps, applets and cap; as a result, the very identity of Air India is not seen. Added to that, the quality of the material is very inferior. You can take the feedback survey of the passengers on a test flight.” The crew has requested that the management rethink the uniform pattern and colour palette.
‘Can’t meet deadline’
Heritage Tailors is a small tailoring shop located opposite Santacruz (East) station. Hemant Kumar, a tailor with 30 years of experience, told mid-day, “Around 30 people have approached me to get their material stitched. I have charged them around Rs 14,300 for the 10 shirt pieces, two waist coats, two jackets and five trousers.
Other tailors will charge even higher. The airline has not approached me officially. Since they have received the jacket and waist coat material only a few days back, it is not possible for me to finish the work by April 14. All the uniforms will be complete only by the first week of May. It will not be easy to get the uniform stitched and ready so soon.”