A Taiwanese airline has announced it will employ men as cabin crew for the first time in its 30-year history.
Eva Air currently employs 4,200 flight attendants, all of whom are female.
The international airline confirmed on Monday 24 June it would be hiring 200 new flight attendants this year, including male and foreign applicants.
Announced after a shareholders’ meeting, the new policy follows Eva recently being crowned the cleanest airline in the world at the Skytrax World Airline awards 2019.
It was also named sixth best airline in the world and came in fifth place in the best cabin crew category – despite its current lack of male flight attendants.
However, the airline is struggling to cope with a large-scale staff strike, which will see more than 850 flights cancelled between 20-28 June.
One of the busiest international routes in the world, Taipei to Hong Kong, is affected by the cabin crew walkout, as are flights from Taiwan to London, Japan, New York and Singapore.
Some 2,000 flight attendants are participating in the industrial action calling for better pay and working conditions after negotiations with the airline broke down.
Between 20-23 June Eva had already lost NT$580m (£14.7m) in revenue from 150 cancelled flights, while shares dropped 4.5 per cent at the end of last week.
The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union says a number of cabin crew have been stranded in Vienna since the strike action started; Eva Air allegedly told them they could only return to Taiwan if they sign a contract agreeing not to strike.
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