Alitalia's female flight attendants will be allowed to swap their traditional skirts for trousers, breaking with half a century of rigid dress code at Italy's flagship carrier, a union said Thursday.
Following negotiations with unions, Alitalia will offer the new option starting next Wednesday, said Rosanna Ruscito, a representative of the Fit-Cisl union and a flight attendant herself.
"We spend our working days traveling from one airport to the other, with great weather differences, snow and freezing temperatures, only wearing a little skirt," she said. "If I go to a warm country, then I prefer the skirt, but if I go to Chicago, Moscow or New York, I want to be free to choose to wear pants" in the winter.
Ruscito said Alitalia had so far not allowed its female crew members to wear trousers because it wanted to project "an image of femininity."
Alitalia flight attendants are considered icons of Italian beauty and style, and top fashion designers have been enlisted over the years to create their prim jackets and skirts.
Ruscito said some Alitalia ground workers already wear pants, and it would not be expensive for the company to produce more.
No one with Alitalia was immediately available for comment.
Ruscito, who had not yet seen the trousers, said she expected they will the same sober dark blue color as the skirts. She pointed out that other international airlines already allow their flight attendants to wear trousers.
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