Air France allows female cabin crew to refuse Iran route in headscarf row

Apr 05
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Air France female cabin crew refuse to wear headscarf
Air France female cabin crew refuse to wear headscarf

The Guardian
Monday, 4 April 2016

Air France’s female flight attendants will be allowed to refuse to work the company’s new route to Iran, the company has said.

Unions for the airline’s cabin crew held talks with management after several female crew members opposed an order to wear a headscarf in Iran.

Air France will fly to Tehran three times a week from 17 April.

The company will introduce an exception so that employees who don’t want to work on the route will be reassigned on other destinations with no sanctions.

A note sent to female cabin crew members requires them to wear a headscarf on their arrival in Tehran. They must also wear the uniform’s long-sleeved jacket and trousers rather than a knee-length dress.

The headscarf rule is already in place when flying to destinations such as Saudi Arabia.

The unions, however, wanted the Tehran flights to be staffed on a voluntary basis and an agreement that any staff who refused to fly to Iran because of the headscarf rule would not have their pay deducted.

Air France suspended flights to Iran in 2008 but is resuming the service after international sanctions imposed over Tehran’s nuclear programme were lifted.

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