Virgin Atlantic is giving its crew a choice of which uniform to wear in an update to its gender identity policy.
The airline announced that its pilots, cabin crew and ground staff now have the option of wearing their red or burgundy uniform.
The carrier said it wants to “defend the individuality” of its workers by allowing them to wear clothing that “expresses how they identify or present themselves.”
Previously, Virgin Atlantic female employees had to wear a red uniform, while men wore burgundy.
The company said the change makes it “the most inclusive airline in the sky”.
Cabin crew member Jaime Forsstroem said: “The updated gender identity policy is very important to me. As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the ability to choose what uniform I get on.”
The airline said its existing “trans inclusion policies” include allowing time off for medical treatment related to gender transition, a selection of changing and shower facilities that “align with gender with which a person is identified’ and the co-creation of a ‘personalised’. transition plan”.
Virgin Atlantic is also introducing the option to include pronouns on worker name badges and has updated its ticketing system to allow holders of passports with gender neutral markers to use the Mx title and select U gender codes or X to your reservation.
Passengers from a small number of countries, including the US, India and Pakistan, but not the UK, can hold these passports.
Mandatory inclusion training will be rolled out across the airline and Virgin Atlantic Holidays workforce, while there will also be “inclusion learning initiatives” for tourism and hotel partners in destinations such as the Caribbean.
This is to ensure that “all our customers feel welcome despite barriers to LGBTQ+ equality,” Virgin Atlantic said.
The measures are part of the airline’s Be Yourself agenda.
Previous changes include removing the requirement for female cabin crew to wear make-up and removing the ban on visible tattoos for all cabin crew.
The airline’s chief commercial officer, Juha Jarvinen, said: “At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are.
“That’s why it’s so important that we empower our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work.
“It is for this reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure that our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns.”