AirAsia female pilots get specially designed hijab as part of uniform

Malaysia-based budget airline AirAsia has unveiled the latest in crew fashion with a new specially designed hijab for the carrier's female pilots.

The hijab, which will be worn by female Muslim pilots on board AirAsia and AirAsia X flights, was designed in collaboration with hijab brand Naelofar Hijab.

The airline said the hijab was "specifically tailored to meet their workday needs".

Rudy Khaw, AirAsia's regional head of branding, said the design "complements our female pilots' look while providing enhanced comfort as they perform their duty.

Neelofa, founder of Naelofar Hijab, said the company had worked with pilots on every aspect of the design, which incorporates stretchable fabric as well as a Naelofar Hijab symbol created with Swarovski crystals. AirAsia currently has 55 female pilots, with 12 of those wearing a hijab.

The airline will also be revamping its hijab designs for ground staff in the near future. AirAsia X flies into Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast.

Despite more women taking on roles as pilots with airlines, the industry is still largely dominated by men. Estimates from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots say there are about 4000 women pilots worldwide, of about 130,000 – just over 3 per cent.

In March this year Air India marked International Women's Day by having an all-female crew fly its longest route, from New Delhi to San Francisco by circling the globe, in a Boeing 777.

Last year an all-female crew from Royal Brunei Airlines touched down in Saudi Arabia for the first time – a country where women are forbidden to drive a car.

See also: Why are there so few female pilots?

See also: Instagram star: Airline pilot reveals what her life is really like

NEW EPISODES: Flight of Fancy - the podcast with Ben Groundwater

To subscribe to the podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes, click here.