Virgin Atlantic changes gender policy and uniform rules

Airline crew can now wear clothing that "expresses how they identify or present themselves" by scrapping different uniforms for men and women.

Virgin Atlantic has changed its gender identity policy to "champion the individuality" of its staff by giving pilots, cabin crew and ground staff freedom to choose what they wear.

Previously women had to wear a red uniform and men wore burgundy and the airlines says that the change makes it "the most inclusive airline in the skies".

Jaime Forsstroem, a member of Virgin cabin crew, said: "The updated gender identity policy is so important to me. As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear."

The airline is amending its "trans inclusion policies" which include time off work for medical treatments related to gender transition, a choice of changing rooms and showers that "align with the gender a person identifies as", and a "personalised transitioning plan".

It is also introducing an option to include pronouns on workers' name badges.

The airline has also updated its ticketing system to allow passport holders with gender neutral markers to use title Mx and select gender codes U or X on flight bookings. Selected passengers from the US, India and Pakistan can hold these passports, but this does not include UK customers.

The company will also roll out mandatory inclusivity training. As part of the Be Yourself agenda, there will be "inclusivity learning initiatives" for tourism partners and hotels in locations including the Caribbean to ensure "all our customers feel welcome despite barriers to LGBTQ+ equality", Virgin Atlantic said.

The airlines previously scrapped a requirement for women to wear make-up and removed the ban on visible tattoos for all cabin crew.

The 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 enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work.

"It is for that reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns."