Malaysian authorities have repeatedly criticized Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia, over his stewardess’s attire.
Here’s but one example from the Business Times Singapore in June of last year.
The maverick-owner of Asia’s largest budget carrier got a dressing down yesterday by the country’s Transport Ministry over the propriety – or the lack thereof – of the uniforms worn by his female flight attendants. And the Transport Ministry seems to want a cover-up, or at least a review of the airline’s dress code. All Air Asia female flight attendants, many of whom are Muslim-Malays, generally dress in bright red jackets over white blouses and slightly-above-the-knee skirts. It’s the last item that seems to make the ministry see red. It told Parliament in a written reply yesterday that it would ask the budget carrier to reassess the uniforms to better “reflect the Malaysian culture.”
The issue surfaced after a Kelantan lawmaker from the United Malays National Organisation, Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz, commented that the airline’s uniforms were “sexy” and “did not reflect the national identity”. He did not specify what the national identity was, or is. The MP then asked if dress code guidelines were imposed on an airline when its licence was issued.
“Airlines have to abide by the safety standards, among others, and comply with emergency evacuation in the allotted time, as set by the Civil Aviation Department and the International Civil Aviation Organisation,” acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said, seeming to skirt the issue. “Airlines including AirAsia are free to choose their uniforms as long as it complies with the criteria set by the authorities.” Again, he did not specify what the criteria is.
Air Asia flight QZ8501 has gone missing in a flight from Indonesia to Singapore.
Gotnews.com editor-in-chief Charles C. Johnson has flown Air Asia in the past as have his relatives.