Last week, Panama City based Copa Airlines announced a re-vamp of its employee uniforms (cabin crew, ground staff, and salespeople).
Copa Airlines is a full service carrier, with its largest hub at Tocumen Airport in Panama City. The carrier leverages its location at the peak of South America to connect passengers throughout the Americas.
Unlike its Central American competitor TACA, whose employees wear colorful uniforms evocative of Central America’s flavor, Copa has elected for more traditional air crew uniforms. Note the similarity to the uniforms of major intercontinental carriers such as Lufthansa and American Airlines; as Copa Airlines seeks to take its business “up-scale,” selling itself as a premium carrier is increasingly important.
According to Copa, it seeks:
A uniform collection that is elegant, fashionable and comfortable. The results manage to update the airline’s corporate image while adhering to the company’s policy guidelines.
In my opinion, Copa has done a very nice job with the uniforms to exemplify a professional yet still attractive look for its ground staff. Using suits for the males provides a very “business friendly” look, while the more vivid female uniform can help maintain a relaxed atmosphere.
Meanwhile, for the cabin crew, Copa has elected for a professional looking uniform that is still classy. For the males, Copa has alternated between suits, sweaters, and even long trench coats based on seasons. Meanwhile for the ladies, they have elected to vary the color by season, as well as the uniform length. I feel that this system allows them to maintain the professional image they seek, while simultaneously ensuring that the cabin atmosphere remains relaxed.
The new uniforms will launch onto Copa Airlines flights on October 12th, 2011; a remarkably quick roll-out for such an image revamp.
What are your views on the new uniform; please post a comment.
While I am a fan of these new professional uniforms for the cabin crew, I’d like to point out as Devesh did earlier, that Copa Airlines, as with most airlines around the world, has once again fallen into the trap of forcing its female cabin crew to wear heels. As Devesh put it earlier:
Well heeled but with no protection for the toes. Painful for the crew who regularly hit their toes on the carts and painful for the passengers as the heels ensure good vibrations in the cabin floor when the crew move about.
Would it have not been better for Copa Airlines to emulate the world’s best airline, Singapore Airlines, in giving cabin crew flat, steel-toed shoes for onboard use, and then training the cabin crew to walk without disturbing passengers?