Virgin Atlantic drops ban on cabin crew displaying arm tattoos

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Boeing 747 being retired from passenger service by Virgin Atlantic Airways, before redeployment as a freight and military carrier, seen in a maintenance hanger at Heathrow Airport, London

LONDON (Reuters) - Virgin Atlantic cabin crew will be allowed to display tattoos on their arms after the airline said on Tuesday it had dropped a requirement for uniformed and front line staff to cover up inkings with long-sleeved shirts, plasters or make up.

A traditionally glamorous role, flight attendants have always been expected to look well groomed, with most airlines setting strict dress requirements for staff. In 2019, Virgin dropped a requirement for female cabin crew to wear makeup.

The British airline founded by billionaire Richard Branson said it was now also relaxing its tattoo restrictions ahead of a fresh recruitment drive for cabin crew.

"Many people use tattoos to express their unique identities and our customer-facing and uniformed colleagues should not be excluded from doing so if they choose," Virgin Atlantic's Chief People Officer Estelle Hollingsworth said in a statement.

The airline said neck, face and head tattoos must still be covered, although it was currently reviewing that policy. Offensive tattoos are also required to be covered up, it said.

(Reporting by Farouq Suleiman, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

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