The fine merino wool used in Air New Zealand uniforms is being dumped amid staff grumbles of creasing and staining – but the hotly debated teal-and-grey colour scheme will remain.
Air New Zealand confirmed yesterday that New Zealand design house Zambesi, which won the contract to clothe the airline's 3000 staff, was going back to the drawing board to find a suitable, work-hardy fabric.
It was possible a harder-wearing merino wool would still be incorporated into the revamped uniform, either as a small portion of a blend or in pieces of clothing that did not need to be as hard-wearing.
The uniforms were launched last October, and all staff were kitted out by March. In a survey six months on, complaints surfaced about the fabric's tendency to crease and the difficulty of removing food stains from uniforms used by in-flight staff.
Men had also complained of the embarrassingly tight cut of the trousers. The new-look uniform will afford them more room. Lightweight shirts and a wider range of knitwear and scarves will be added to the 12-piece range.