11:14 GMT05 March 2021
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    Air France granted its crews the opportunity to skip flights to Tehran if they do not feel comfortable wearing the required headscarves, essential to female dress under Iranian law.

    The air carrier’s female employees who refuse to cover their heads with scarves will have the option to avoid working on flights to the Islamic Republic without chastisement, an airline representative said on Monday. In such cases the company will allocate a “special unit” to replace those female crewmembers.

    "Any woman assigned to the Paris-Tehran flight who for reasons of personal choice would refuse to wear the headscarf upon leaving the plane will be reassigned to another destination, and thus will not be obliged to do this flight," Gilles Gateau, an Air France official told Europe 1 radio.

    Earlier it was revealed that the airline had issued a special ruling for the staff, ordering flight attendants to wear long-sleeved jackets and loose trousers, as well as wearing headscarves if they leave the airplane.

    "This obligation [of wearing scarf in public], which does not apply during the flight, is respected by all international airlines which fly to Iran," the company said.

    The ruling caused outcry from working unions, who had expressed concerns over possible punishment for female workers that refuse to work the Iranian route.

    "Every day we have calls from worried female cabin crew who tell us that they do not want to wear the headscarf," AFP quoted Christophe Pillet of the SNPNC union as saying.

    Similar rules are in place for the company’s flights to countries like Saudi Arabia, according to media reports.

    According to Deutsche Welle, British Airways is set to resume flights to Iran and is expected to issue flight recommendations for its cabin crew. Germany’s Lufthansa had not suspended air service to Iran and adhered to all requirements of local law.


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    headscarf, airline, Air France, Tehran, Iran, Paris, France
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