There’s a bit of old and new in the latest Qantas pilots’ uniform unveiled on 29th April 2016 with the airlines almost 3,000 domestic,
international and regional pilots fully decked out in the new design by the end of the year. First announced a year ago, the uniforms are created by Australian fashion designer Martin Grant, who was also responsible for the Qantas flight attendants uniforms which took to the skies in 2013.
The newly revealed pilot uniform features a sleek and modern single-breasted navy suit, with nostalgic design features linking back to the first Qantas pilot uniforms from the 1930s. Male pilots’ suits will come in a streamlined cut with a narrow trouser leg. Female pilots will wear a more feminine version, including a specific female tie.
The fabric is lighter, the shirt is more fitted and the gold stripes used to define rank are finer to give a more elegant look. The back of the jacket also features a red vent to add a splash of colour. Harking back to the days of the Qantas seaplane and the nautical-style uniform, the hat is navy with a waterproof white top which will be appreciated by the pilots as they conduct their pre-flight aircraft walk around in all weather. The gold embroidered hat badge has been simplified using the Qantas Roo logo – the iconic symbol first introduced in 1947 to coincide with Qantas’ first services through to London. The symbol also features on the new wing badge, which has been updated in gold embroidery.
If need be, they can also wear their newly introduced water resistant Qantas trench coat in bonded lightweight wool for pilots – practical whilst maintaining the chic, tailored quality.
Martin Grant said the new design was inspired by the classic military and naval-style pilot uniforms and reflected feedback from pilots who wanted a uniform that was modern, wearable and recognisable.
…. Pilots have one of the most respected professions in the world. I decided it was very important to keep the classic base of the military and naval styles as it maintains and commands this respect. Feedback from pilots was that they wanted to keep the traditional image but give it a fresh makeover to be more elegant and wearable. With an increase of female pilots in the ranks, it was also important to design more feminine suiting for women. I strived for a design that is traditional yet modern. I wanted to create a uniform that reflected the glamour of flying and suit the unique pilot office environment. The hat is what makes a pilot so recognisable. I wanted to go back to the essence of the naval uniform and bring back the white top. It gives a nostalgic element, reminding us of the glamour of air travel. The embroidery on the Captain’s hat, commonly referred to in pilot circles as ‘scrambled eggs,’ has become a generic design over the years, so I transformed it into golden wattle, Australia’s national flower, which felt appropriate for the national carrier. Martin Grant, Australian fashion designer
…. Every Qantas uniform reflects its times and this version marks an exciting period for our pilots as we create new job opportunities and look forward to the delivery of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner next year,” Mr Joyce said. The uniform was developed in collaboration with our pilots to make sure that it meets their needs on the job, as well as perfectly capturing the power and history of the Qantas brand. Alan Joyce
Qantas Chief Pilot Captain Richard Tobiano said pilots took great pride in wearing their uniform.
…. Qantas pilots, along with cabin crew, are ambassadors for our airline at airports around the world, and I’m looking forward to wearing a new uniform that is modern, comfortable and pays tribute to the history of our airline and profession. Captain Tobiano
Only Australian fabrics have been used, including Australian Merino wool for the suits and cotton blends for the shirts, designed for high levels of comfort and different climates. The new uniform also features the Australian Coat of Arms on the tie pin.