British Airways cabin crew Friday won a two-year battle after a ruling in an internal test case found female flight staff should be allowed to wear trousers.
Female BA recruits, who were hired after 2012, had been required to wear a skirt – unless exempted on religious or medical grounds.
Staff hired before then were able to wear a different uniform, designed by Julien Macdonald, which included trousers, so they are unaffected by the decision.
The uniform change came after 83 per cent of Unite union members demanded freedom to wear trousers.
Despite the ruling female BA staff will still need to ask permission from their manager to wear trousers.
The move was hailed by Britain’s trade union group, Unite, as a sign the airline was “joining the 21st century”.
Regional officer Matt Smith said: “British Airways’ stance was unbefitting of a modern airline in the modern age, and demonstrates that Unite will not allow cases like this to go unchallenged.
“Not only is the choice to wear trousers a victory for equality it is also a victory for common sense and testament to the organising campaign of our members.
“Female cabin crew no longer have to shiver in the cold, wet and snow of wintery climates, but also can be afforded the protection of trousers at destinations where there is a risk of malaria or the Zika virus.”
A BA spokesman said: “While trousers are not a standard part of the uniform, colleagues wishing to wear them can request this through their manager.”