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Virgin has banned its gender-neutral uniforms for World Cup flight to Qatar over safety fears

Charisa Bossinakis

Published 
| Last updated 

Virgin has banned its gender-neutral uniforms for World Cup flight to Qatar over safety fears

Virgin Atlantic crew have been banned from wearing gender-neutral uniforms during the England team’s flight to Qatar for the World Cup.

BBC News reported that the crew who will board the 'Gay Pride' jet to Doha would not be allowed to choose their own uniform over safety concerns and fears of persecution from Qatari authorities.

According to the Daily Mail, the decision to remove gender-fluid uniforms from Tuesday’s flight ahead of England’s match against Iran came after Virgin conducted a risk assessment.

Speaking to the outlet, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed its policy: “The safety and security of our people and customers is always our top priority.

Credit: Virgin Atlantic
Credit: Virgin Atlantic

“As part of our policy, we complete a risk assessment on all countries we fly to, considering laws and attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community and expressions of identity on a case-by-case basis.

“Following a risk assessment, it was recommended the policy was not applied on today’s charter flight to ensure the safety of our people.”

A Virgin Atlantic official also told BBC News that the uniform policy is currently being implemented in the UK, US and Israel, as those countries are more ‘accepting of non-binary identities allowing more self-expression’.

They added they would continue to assess the destination of flights ‘on a case by case basis to ensure the safety and security of our people and customers at all times’.

However, the airline will still be flying out its ‘Rain Bow’ Airbus A350-1000 to the Gulf nation.

The jet features Virgin Atlantic's LGBTQI+ icon, Oscar, fashioning rainbow-striped sneakers while waving a Union Jack flag.

Credit: Virgin Atlantic
Credit: Virgin Atlantic

However, according to The Independent, they are not the only airline championing LGBTQI+ rights during the World Cup.

Lufthansa has decided to fly out the German football team in a ‘diversity plane’.

The aircraft showcases people of all cultural backgrounds with the words ‘Diversity Wins’ and ‘Fanhansa’, meaning ‘openness’ painted on the front.

Leading up to the tournament, the Middle Eastern country has copped a barrage of criticism around its policies and treatment of queer people.

While the ambassador for the World Cup, Khalid Salman, said that all gay tourists were welcome during the World Cup, fans have been told to respect the nation’s culture and not engage in public displays of affection.

He also told German broadcaster ZDF that homosexuality was ‘damage in the mind’, as per AP News.

Featured Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic. Qatar / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, World Cup, Sport, Travel, LGBTQ, World News

Charisa Bossinakis
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