Was the uniform of Austrian Airlines actually always red? What were the requirements for the first “Air Hostesses” back then? And how did the press report about Uniform & Crew? All this and a little more, you’ll learn in today’s blog post:
Home – no matter where
Does this sound in any way familiar? After an extended holiday abroad, you arrive at the airport gate and find the charming station employees in red uniforms already awaiting you. And suddenly, you feel at home, no matter whether you are in Asia or North America. The red uniforms have been the main distinguishing feature of Austrian flight attendants for almost 50 years. They stand for Austria, for friendliness, for home.
“Genuine charm could be the one asset that holds a special appeal for passengers”, wrote the daily newspaper “Die Presse”, about the special Austrian Airlines service, even before the maiden flight had taken off. This maxim remains our guiding principle to this day.
We wear red
You’ve only ever seen myAustrian employees wearing red? That was not always so. The original uniform was navy blue. But we returned to our Austrian origins as early as in 1969, designing the first uniform that took its colour from our national flag. Since then, this red has never varied. The fabric and details evoke the Austrian national costume.
Since 1974, we’ve used the red-and-white-checked pattern in our fabric designs repeatedly: at the time, a red and white checked dress with a red jacket replaced the red traditional costume introduced in 1969. Featuring on curtains and blankets, this pattern can be found on board again today.
The original version of the uniform by which you can recognise myAustrian employees immediately today was designed in 1996. Ever since then, we have been updating the uniform continually, to ensure that it always satisfies current demands. The fabrics need to be hard-wearing and comfortable to wear – over time, stretch was added for more flexibility. Every new part, such as the coat, vest or dress, undergoes lab trials first and is then rigorously wash- and wear-tested before we add it to our collection.
The first “air hostesses”
The “air hostess” job was much sought-after in 1958, because it was equated with a sense of freedom and adventure that was otherwise not easily achieved. The demands were very high: in 1958, applicants needed to be unmarried, childless, 21 to 27 years old, 1.57 m to 1.73 m tall and were not permitted to weigh more than 63 kg. Perfect English and French or Russian were mandatory, hotel management school was desirable, and marrying was allowed only after completing two years of service.
Once accepted, they learned a number of skills, including how to save human lives without auxiliary means in a first-aid course: using a pen to perform a tracheotomy or a safety pin to hold down the tongue in the event of an epileptic seizure.
The myAustrian smile – our motto since 1958
On 6 July 1958, the newspaper “Neues Österreich” reported:
“The stewardesses serve the Gumpoldskirchner wine with a lovely Viennese smile, they are dressed with unpretentious simplicity, their make-up is discreet… This Viennese smile and the warm hospitality carry us over cities and countries safely and with ease.”
Just the way myAustrian should be – the charming way to fly. This is our promise to you for the next 60 years as well.