Since 1970 when Qantas decided to move with the times and use brighter colours (a mid-blue) for their pilots’ uniforms, they’ve made changes about every ten years or so.
Martin Grant to design new QANTAS pilot uniform
Although the new outfits won’t be on show until 2016, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement released on 16th April 2015, that a new uniform for the airline’s 2,500 pilots came at a time of renewal.
Internationally recognised Australian Fashion Designer, Martin Grant, has been asked to design the new uniform for Qantas’ domestic, regional and international pilots. This comes just two years after he designed the well received new image for the airline’s cabin crew and ground staff.
Things have changed considerably since the 1930s when aircraft cockpits were first enclosed so pilots were able to dispense with their heavy overalls, helmets and goggles. Since then, nautical themes have had a look-in (during the era of the sea planes) and khaki has been used during the war, in case they were captured when they overflew enemy territory.
Mr Joyce alluded to this when saying that each new design has reflected the times and added “It’s important that our crew feel proud to wear the Qantas uniform around the world, every day. They represent the national carrier so we want them to feel confident and comfortable sitting in the flight deck, standing in the cabin or walking through an airport.”
User feedback an essential part of the process
“A key part of the design process will be asking our pilots what they would like to see in the new design. With an increase in the number of female pilots in the Qantas ranks, the design of the female uniform will also be a focus,” he added.
As staff feedback is being extensively canvassed and included in the brief, when the new uniforms finally appear next year, expect the pilots to appear in outfits that retain the traditional image but are at the same time elegant and wearable. Apparently the female pilots are also hoping for a more feminine line in their outfits.
Martin Grant said he was excited by the opportunity to design what will be the first new uniform for Qantas pilots in more than a decade. He commented “The reputation of Qantas pilots speaks for itself, so it’s a real honour to be asked to work with them to create their new uniform. I want it to be comfortable, stylish and most of all, distinguished”.
Qantas Chief Pilot, Captain Richard Tobiano, added that while pilots are often unseen in their “office”, they take great pride in wearing their uniform and also place a great emphasis on comfort. “The current uniform has served us well but after wearing the same thing every day for more than 10 years, we’re ready for a change. Given we spend up to 16 hours at a time on an aircraft, there’s a big focus on comfort and durability as well as reflecting our professionalism,” said Captain Tobiano.
Apart from pilot feedback, Martin Grant will also join Qantas pilots in a flight simulator to understand the dynamics of the pilots’ working environment.
So, watch out for the newly decked out flight crews on the flight deck in 2016!