View Full Version : Air France orders stewardesses to wear hijab on Iran flights

Super VC-10
4th Apr 2016, 16:48
Story here:-

Outrage as airline orders stewardesses to wear Islamic-style headscarf when flying to Iran | World | News | Daily Express (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/657762/air-france-stewardesses-islamic-style-headscarves-iran)

Surely, a French-registered aircraft is technically "French soil" (same as a ship flying the French flag). Therefore Iranian law would not apply on board the aircraft, even if it had landed at Tehran International Airport.

4th Apr 2016, 17:00

Rwy in Sight
4th Apr 2016, 17:04
The aircraft is French territory but in order for the airline to gain traffic rights, it needs to respect the destinations country's laws and procedures. Much the same way Israel (used to/still does) require all pax seated with their seat belts fasten one hour before landing in Tel Aviv.

If I am not mistaken BA used to fly to Tehran via Cyprus so as the crew wouldn't need to night stop in Tehran.

4th Apr 2016, 17:08
AF flight attendants are being asked to wear a head scarf (ie cover their hair) while on the ground in Iran. Just like they are asked to do on flights to Saudi Arabia. I understand that all women visiting Iran are asked to wear a head scarf.

AF will allow individuals to opt out of Iran flights if they choose.

Nothing here, please move along.

4th Apr 2016, 17:25

From what I've heard and read this is much more to it than simply a head scarf, it's not just about what is worn on the aircraft and I'm not at all convinced this is the same as Saudi.

It seems from both the French media and the syndicats (Unions) that AF management have instructed that whenever a female crew member leaves their hotel room during the Tehran slip they must wear a scarf and wear suitably formless/opaque clothing to hide their form......

Desserte de Téhérant : Revendication de l'Intersyndicale PNC | SNPNC (http://www.snpnc.org/content/air-france/desserte-teherant-revendication-lintersyndicale-pnc)

I know Saudi rules are tough on female crew members but don't recall there being similar rules inside the Saudi hotel we used as crew the last time I was there. I wonder if this is down to the fact that as I understand it Iran has been pretty much closed to foreigners for years and at the moment there are no "western friendly" hotels.

4th Apr 2016, 17:36
I flew flydubai to Shiraz a few weeks ago, no sign of any headscarves on female cabin crew (mind you, neither on female pax, until doors were opened...). Same to Turkish the way out.

4th Apr 2016, 17:50
Yes but neither FZ nor Turkish have recently been specifically targeted in a hotel attack.

I think AF are just doing their duty of care by the crew. They can always reassess once ops start.

Imagine the outcry if they didn't issue headscarves as part of the uniform and an FA ran foul of the authorities in Tehran. There'd be an outcry.

PS no one had it a problem with it when AF FAs wore a headscarf in the 60s.

Seems French don't like it when they're told what to/not to wear but quite happy to make it illegal to wear a burqa in France.

When in Rome....

4th Apr 2016, 17:54
I have been told that all women, locals and foreigners, are expected to cover their hair when out and about in Iran. This is the same as Saudi Arabia, which AF has served for many years.

AF has said they will permit their cockpit and cabin crews to opt out of Iran flights if they choose.

“In Iran, the law stipulates that all women present in the country have to wear a headscarf covering their hair in public places," Monday’s news release stated. “This obligation does not apply during the flight and is respected by all international airlines serving the Republic of Iran.”

4th Apr 2016, 18:38
Despite how this is being portrayed in some parts of the media this isn't just about head scarves and isn't about being out and about in Tehran itself.

In Tehran it seems AF demanded that their female cabin crew had to wear scarves and full robes to leave their rooms at all..even to walk to the end of the corridor...as the wording of the notice the management put out said:

"outside their room ladies must wear a scarf and a loose fitting garment which disguises their shape".

By contrast (and oddly enough) Saudi seems more liberal since the female crew members can usually move around most public areas of the slip hotel in western dress and without wearing head cover.

There may well be an element of "when in Rome" but fortunately it's all moot now the slip has been made voluntary for females.

4th Apr 2016, 18:39
A correction regarding Saudi clothing rules is in order:

Non Muslim women are NOT required to cover their hair in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia. It is advisable however for ladies to have a headscarf ready anyhow if the religious police makes a fuss, especially in Riadh.
They have to rear an abaya though.

4th Apr 2016, 18:41
Businesses need to sell their product.

Employees have a choice to decline within the rules of employment.

No need for outsiders to vote in their place.

de facto
4th Apr 2016, 20:01
Seems French don't like it when they're told what to/not to wear but quite happy to make it illegal to wear a burqa in France.

When in Rome....
Against the law yes,only few get a fine and go one with their lives..
Have you ever been to Paris or Marseille? sure beats saudi arabia and other states of that nature in pluriculturalism i would say...

4th Apr 2016, 20:30
Wonder what the folks "over there" would do if they saw the women on South Beach? For those of you who don't know, in Miami Beach it's "tops optional". Best views are between 5th Street and 22nd Street. La vida esta buena. :ok:

Rwy in Sight
4th Apr 2016, 21:17
mach2.6, I had a similar thought about French ladies being easier to cover their curves as they have fewer unlike the ladies in BA.

4th Apr 2016, 21:30
From the article:

It is not professional and they see it as an insult to their dignity

It is very much professional to observe the cultural laws of a country you are visiting. Frankly, deal with it.

As the aircraft is considered "French" soil, I too would have a problem being told to wear it onboard the aircraft. However, once you step onto another someone else's soil, you are required to abide by their laws - if this is one of them, so be it. It's not for you to determine if their law is unjust or not.

I would suggest that if they feel so strongly, they don't bid for the run or call in sick the day the schedule shows them going. But don't hold the airline to ransom when all they're trying to do is protect their staff in a country that is vastly different to some of the ones they routinely go to.

4th Apr 2016, 21:39
May be CDG staff mistreated someone and reciprocity in play here. CDG is renowned to treat lot of nationals badly particularly from third world.

4th Apr 2016, 22:49
Much ado about nothing.
Fuss fueled by union not even capable of writing the name of a capital city correctly...

Load Toad
5th Apr 2016, 03:21
Right or wrong in Iran a lot of the men consider a woman showing hair in public to be a prostitute. An Iranian friends Chinese wife whilst visiting Iran received some hassle and hurtful comments when she went out in public without him and did not dress 'modestly' enough (with regard hiding her hair)
Can't say I agree with that at all but that's the way it is...

5th Apr 2016, 03:47
Such cultural ignorance.

In modern history women in Iran HAVE NEVER been required to cover their face.

5th Apr 2016, 04:38
Air France has now allowed crew to "beg off" the Iran flights if they choose without prejudice...

5th Apr 2016, 05:10
A very misleading thread title designed to stir the pot. Well done.

5th Apr 2016, 05:12
As the aircraft is considered "French" soil,]

Try committing an offence and see which countries authorities take action.:cool:

5th Apr 2016, 05:18
Mods, can the thread title be edited to something that is correct? I'd suggest "Air France advises female flight attendants to wear head scarves while on ground in Iran".

Thank you

Sea Eggs
5th Apr 2016, 12:01
If the fashion designers can make pilots wear hats as part of the uniform, why not incorporate head scarves as part of the uniform design? We just need uniform police to enforce it once the plane landed at these Muslim countries.:8

5th Apr 2016, 12:07
Sea Eggs, this isn't about on-board attire.

In France it is illegal to cover your face with a Burka;
In Iran it is illegal not to cover your hair.

I disagree with both laws, but ...

5th Apr 2016, 12:07
Airlines do try to by customer oriented. They do and they did always order their flight attendants to wear something the customer likes. Stewardesses probably never volunteered to wear skirts so short, that sitting customers can have a very appealing sight. Airplanes have never been the best area if you look for female rights... It´s just another step in treating employees. Not good, but not new either.

5th Apr 2016, 13:43
If it was ladies from some other western country I would agree covering hair is an issue. But Parisian women love to cover their head with scarfs.


BTW, there is talk on internet this is about US CBP's new guidelines on Visa Waiver Program restrictions on visitors to certain countries.

Now that ladies can opt out, gentlemen of AF have to find some reason. May be they can start an industrial action for not allowing them to tear off station manager's shirt.

ATC Watcher
5th Apr 2016, 14:35
Storm in a tea pot , Tehran policy for trousers ( no skirt) and head scarf for CC is as old as the Iranian revolution and was followed without problems until 7 years ago when AF stopped flying to Tehran. Now they will restart OPS there and AF management just reminded both cabin and Flight crew of old regulations. A CC union picked it up and wanting to make the Buzz raised an issue..
Media picked it up, politicians in presidential campaign took it on board , etc..
This morning AF announced that Crewing to THR will be on voluntary basis only but following the local rules, that CC Union seem to be happy. End of story.

An for those who have been in THR in the last 5 years you can see that covering your hair is in fact today only covering 1/2 of it on the back , every year the women gain 1 cm as the local joke goes.