The Virgin Atlantic flight taking England’s team to Qatar is called ‘Rain Bow’ – but its staff won’t be able to wear gender-fluid uniform over concerns about their safety.
The airline announced a change to the uniform policy this week with Qatar being a very conservative country where same-sex relations and any pubic displays of affection are illegal.
It said the policy always includes ‘safety considerations’, with Virgin assessing the risk of allowing its staff to wear the new uniform, based on the destination.
It said the US, UK and Israel for example are viewed as ‘safe’ countries, while other places, including Qatar, are not seen as safe.
The airline added that crew members and managers speak to ensure both are happy with a decision about whether the new uniform policy is used.
Virgin added that the charter flight carrying the England team, called Rain Bow in a nod to LGBT rights, was a one-off trip, and usually the airline does not operate to Qatar.
This comes after Virgin Atlantic launched a new policy in September, which removed the need for female staff to wear red and men, burgundy.
In a shift to recognising non-binary crew members, it allowed them to wear the colour which they felt most comfortable with.