easyJet introduces new cabin crew and pilot uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles

easyJet has announced that it is introducing a new uniform for cabin crew and pilots, each made from around 45 recycled plastic bottles as part of its commitment to mitigate waste and search for innovative change beyond carbon reduction.

Manufactured by Northern-Ireland based Tailored Image and created with unique high-tech material, the new uniform will be introduced into cabin crew circulation during August. The roll-out across the airline is estimated to prevent around half a million plastic bottles from ending up as plastic waste each year.

Not only does the fabric reduce plastic waste, but the high-tech material is made using renewable energy sources and has a 75% lower carbon footprint than traditional polyester.

The new fabric, adapted to the airline’s current style, was first trialled last year for suitability in the cabin and flight deck environments. Compared to the non-recycled alternative, it is more abrasion-resistant. It also provides even more elasticity, a four-way stretch, improving fit and freedom of movement for enhanced comfort and durability. This development can lead to it being long-lasting for the wearer, reducing the need for more uniform items to be produced in the long term.

·        Forty-five bottles will go into each uniform – with a potential of half a million bottles to be reused annually as part of the airline’s commitment to address impacts beyond carbon and reduce waste

Beyond the new fabric, plastic has also been replaced in all clothing-related packaging in favour of recyclable and biodegradable materials: replacing plastic collar strays with recyclable cardboard ones, plastic shirt clips with metal shirt clips, non-recyclable white coated card with recyclable cardboard card and polypropylene outer shirt covers with biodegradable shirt covers.

Tina Milton, Director of Cabin Services at easyJet, told us:

Climate change is an issue for all of us, and at easyJet, we are looking at all parts of our operation to see where we can reduce carbon emissions and reduce waste.  

We are excited to be debuting this new pilot and cabin crew uniform made from recycled plastic bottles and to introduce it for our pilots and cabin crew colleagues. We know that sustainability is an important issue for them and also for our customers.

It is a priority for us to continue work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including zero-emission planes which aspire to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation radically. We continue to work with innovative technology partners Wright Electric and Airbus. Each of them has set out its ambitious timetables for bringing zero-emission aircraft into commercial service to become a reality.

People have a choice in how they travel, and if people choose to fly with us, we want to be one of the best choices they can make.

Bernard Birt, Managing Director of Tailored Image, said:

Our role as a bespoke uniform and corporate wear provider is to deliver innovative solutions for our clients, built around comfort and practicality for their wearers. The additional challenge with the easyJet project was to meet their exceptionally high standards in reducing environmental impact. By combining the expertise of our design and garment technology teams, we developed a collaborative approach with a mill that is leading the way in the development of sustainable fabrics.

We were excited from the outset to be involved in this project and are delighted that the success of the new easyJet wardrobe demonstrates the result of our award-winning customer-focused approach and our ability to meet even the most exacting briefs.

Since 2000 easyJet has reduced the carbon emissions for each kilometre flown by a passenger by over a third. Initiatives have included introducing lightweight carpets, trolleys and seats, single-engine taxiing and removing paper manuals from aircraft.

In 2019, easyJet became the world’s first major airline to operate carbon neutral flights across its whole network by offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of its flights through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards, Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.

Virgin Atlantic has announced the reopening of its Clubhouse at New York JFK airport from 19 July.

Upper Class customers, Flying Club Gold members as well as Delta’s Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members, can once again enjoy access to the airline’s flagship North America lounge enjoying a complimentary a la carte menu featuring five-star dining, tapas dishes and afternoon tea plus a wide selection of cocktails, wine and soft drinks.

Customers visiting in the morning can choose from a selection of breakfast favourites including eggs benedict, avocado on toast and a full English breakfast and for those visiting later in the day, the chicken tikka masala and the famous vegan Beyond Burger are on offer, washed down by a selection of beverages including the iconic Virgin Redhead cocktail.

The Clubhouse experience has been tailored to ensure the safety of customers. Customers will be encouraged to remain in their seated areas and enjoy table service from the Clubhouse team.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic has announced a new partnership with Plaza Premium Group which will now be responsible for the day to day running of the JFK Clubhouse under the guidance of the Virgin Atlantic team. Virgin Atlantic will also work with Plaza Premium for the Clubhouses in Boston, San Francisco, Washington and Johannesburg once they reopen as travel restrictions around the world start to relax.

Whilst customers will continue to enjoy the Clubhouse experience, the award-winning Plaza Premium group will bring a wealth of experience to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse offering. The Group has won more than 60 accolades in the last five years, including “World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge” for four consecutive years from 2016 to 2019 at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer commented,

We’re delighted to welcome customers back to our Clubhouse at New York JFK offering the signature Virgin Atlantic experience we know they have missed over the past 18 months. With the friendly faces of our Clubhouse team, enhanced health and safety measures at every touchpoint and our innovative food and beverage offering, we will ensure our customers fly safe and fly well.

We look forward to expanding our partnership with Plaza Premium Group to our Clubhouses in North America and South Africa. Our shared values of top-notch hospitality, the most hospitable teams in the industry, a pioneering mindset and dedication to innovation will ensure our customers enjoy every moment of their journey as travel restrictions begin to relax and demand for global travel returns fast.

Bora Isbulan, Chief Commercial Officer, Plaza Premium Group told us,

Plaza Premium Group is delighted to be collaborating with Virgin Atlantic, one of the world’s most innovative and respected airline brand, in offering seamless services in their Clubhouses. With 22 years of experience in creating exquisite, award-winning airport moments, the PPG team look forward to serving Virgin Atlantic passengers a memorable and deliver each of these signature lounge experiences to life.  This unique partnership sees two global travel brands offering the brand’s unique perspectives on airport hospitality, design and service that leaves an imprint with each visit. We are here with aligned mission and goals, joining hands to offer an elevated airport journey in supporting the return of travel. We are looking forward to working with like-minded partners to bring a brand new lounge experience and provide world-class lounge experience in welcoming global travellers.

Virgin Atlantic and Plaza Premium Lounge have also agreed on the co-development of lounges in other key hubs within the airline’s network.

British and Irish Airways

British Airways welcomed the 37-strong British & Irish Lions squad on board a special charter flight, as they travelled from Edinburgh to Johannesburg for the start of their eagerly-awaited South African Tour.

Following their clash against Japan for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup at BT Murrayfield Stadium yesterday, they were greeted with warm words of encouragement by the crew of flight BA9111, including their pilot Captain Richard Allen-Williams, British Airways’ Chief Pilot, Training.

Enjoying the safety and comfort of a British Airways’ 777-300, the players were served with a selection of hot meals and snacks during the 11-hour 30-minute flight to ensure they arrive match fit and ready to take on all-comers.

The eight-game tour of South Africa will see the best players from the UK & Ireland pitted against the World Champions, the Springboks, in three Tests. The Lions and Springboks squads will both be carried across the country during the Tour by British Airways’ franchise partner, Comair.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:

We are honoured to be flying The British & Irish Lions to South Africa ahead of their Tour. After a difficult year, we look forward to uniting the nation through sport and cheering them on. From everyone at British Airways, we wish them the best of luck and hope to carry them home as champions.

Ben Calveley, Managing Director for The British & Irish Lions, said:

We are delighted to be flying with British Airways for the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series. We know the squad and management will receive a warm welcome from British Airways staff and enjoy a safe, comfortable journey to South Africa, landing in Johannesburg ready to take on the world champions.

British Airways is also reinforcing its commitment to sport as the airline is currently the Principal Partner to Twickenham Stadium, Official Airline Partner to England Rugby and has been the Official Airline Partner to Team GB and Paralympics GB since 2008.

GTM supports the Travel Day of Action

Global Travel Management is supporting the industry-wide campaign, Travel Day of Action on 23 June.

The event takes place following the Government’s review of the traffic light system – in which countries were moved from green to amber and amber to red, while none was moved in the opposite direction – and its failure to extend sector-specific support for the travel and aviation industries.

The day of action will be calling on the UK Government to

  • Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan; and to
  • Bring forward a package of tailored financial support to recognise that the unlocking of international travel, and hence businesses’ ability to trade and generate income, will be much slower than first anticipated, and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy. 
Scott Pawley made a plea to the Prime Minister to meet the Travel Day of Action’s demands

All parts of the travel industry have been invited to participate, including travel management companies, leisure travel agents, airlines, airports, tour operators, suppliers and partners.

The day will be all about putting forward a positive plan for the Government. Scott Pawley, Managing Director of Global Travel Management explained that:

London, the world’s number one most connected city in 2019, saw an 88% decline in connectivity between April 2019 and April 2021. UK residents travelling overseas generate over £53 billion in domestic spending – but with borders being closed and travel to many countries being made illegal for most individuals, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, and many more remain at great risk.

The next weeks will be critical for the travel industry, as we look ahead to the next review on 28 June when the Government is expected to announce another review of both the traffic light list and also the requirements and measures in place for international travel. The Travel Day of Action is a campaign we are happy to support, as it carries two, important messages.

We want the Government to help the industry and businesses who need to travel by taking the two actions we are calling for. Allowing a risk-managed approach to opening up international travel; and providing travel industry support to help businesses cope with the on-going restrictions, now entering their sixteenth month.


The travel industry is calling on the UK Government to allow international travel to return safely in a risk-managed way and to bring forward a package of tailored financial support.

Scott has invited the MP for GTM’s Woking constituency, Jonathan Lord to the event, which takes place on College Green, outside the Palace of Westminster. Scott explained:

I have written to Jonathan Lord to put forward the campaign’s two, positive suggestions. I hope he will be able to join us on College Green immediately after Prime Minister’s Question Time, so that he can see the strength of the support behind the campaign. It’s a positive message and I hope we can get the message across.

Other countries are forging ahead with risk-based schemes that allow safe travel, most recently Germany, France and Spain. The UK is falling behind other nations in its travel restart plans and risks becoming an outlier, undermining our aspirations for Global Britain.

Scott also explained that, while some businesses in the travel industry have suffered greatly over the course of the pandemic response, it is important that the financially-stronger companies stand up. Scott said,

We have already seen airlines and travel agents succumb to the ravages of the pandemic response. So it’s important that financially sound travel management companies like us get behind this campaign. The travel industry needs competition – it’s vital we don’t lose any more names from the travel sector.

The campaign will attract travel industry members from across the UK, with events taking place around the country. And Sales Director Paul Baker pointed out that GTM clients will continue to receive the highest levels of service they expect during the day:

It’s a socially distanced, responsible campaign event, with attendance restricted to the hundreds of ticket holders who have pre-registered. We have several members of the GTM management team taking part in the event, including Kelly Packington, our Director of Operations. So, I have worked with Kelly to ensure all operational aspects of her – and her team’s – role will be covered.

All GTM clients travelling on 23 June will be fully supported, as usual.


We are calling on the UK Government to:
Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic-light system, by expanding the Green list in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants.
Bring forward a package of tailored financial support, including extension of furlough support, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.

PLAY launches new uniforms

PLAY – the new, Icelandic low-cost airline – has unveiled its new cabin crew uniforms which are very different from traditional airline clothing.

The airline has described the new designs as ‘a new era of cabin crew uniforms’. The outfits mark a departure from traditional cabin crew wear, with the emphasis on comfort and avoiding being ‘gender specific’.

The uniforms were designed by designer couple Gunni Hilmars and Kolla who were keen to tackle a fresh take on what is usually a very traditional line of clothing:

PLAY crew uniforms
The PLAY crew uniforms include branded trainers

We were honoured and pleased to get to work with PLAY on this clothing line for their uniforms. We really wanted to throw out all those old ideas about airline uniforms and bring in more comfort. We tried to scrap the constrictive rules often associated with these uniforms and include relaxed fits, stretchy fabrics and of course, shoes meant for working on your feet!

The result is a mix of active wear and a fresh uniform.

PLAY uniforms are finally here and they mean business!


Jónína Guðmundsdóttir is the CPO at PLAY and leads the division of People and Culture, which includes the HR department, Payroll, Uniforms and Travel.

PLAY cabin crew members tested out the ‘comfortable’ attire during a recent photoshoot with karate kicks and yoga poses. The airline says that ‘despite being fresh and fashionable, these uniforms were not designed for photoshoots. They are meant to encompass our core values: simplicity, playfulness, competitiveness, equality and on-time performance’.

Jónína Guðmundsdóttir, the Chief People Officer of PLAY said,

It was really satisfying to see how well Gunni and Kolla got our brief and our ideas for this line. We had certain ideas about the clothing and how it should represent and work with our brand and the results are just amazing.

The airline announced that staff will wear comfortable trainers, instead of high heels; there will be no instructions regarding hair, make up, tattoos or nail varnish; the uniforms are not gender specific; and that ‘the crew can pick whatever works for them’.

PLAY was founded in 2019, with the aim to provide a low-cost alternative for consumers traveling to and from Iceland, as well as across the Atlantic. In May 2021, PLAY announced it has secured an Air Operators Certificate.

CEO Birgir Jónsson said,

To future clients of PLAY I want to say this; we look forward to welcoming you on board our modern and efficient aircraft. We will offer highly competitive prices on effortless and safe flights, making us an affordable option and a real competitor on the market.

Finnair introduces Business Light

Finnair have introduced a totally new Business Light ticket and renewed its other ticket types, addressing the increasing trend for personalisation of the travel experience. 

Customers can choose from three ticket types – Light, Classic and Flex – that are available for both Business and Economy Class for all short-haul and most intercontinental journeys. When booking a ticket, customers select the travel class experience they prefer and the level of flexibility for making reservation changes – along with some additional services included in the ticket. The rest of the experience can be tailored with a wide selection of travel extras.

Ole Orvér, Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer, said

There is an increasing need to personalise the travel experience, and our new ticket types offer opportunities for choice and tailoring. We want to offer our customers journeys that look like them, and we will be adding more choice and personalisation opportunities to our offering as we re-introduce services and prepare for ramp-up of our operations.

  • Business Light is a totally new ticket type designed especially for leisure travellers who want to travel light and affordably while enjoying Business Class comfort. Business Light includes carry-on baggage only. Reservation changes, refunds, airport priority services, lounge access and onboard internet are not included in the ticket price. Customers can always elevate their experience by choosing the travel extras that matter most for them.  
  • The Classic ticket is the most popular option allowing ticket date changes and including one piece of checked baggage. With a Classic ticket bought on 15 June 2021 or later, customers can make travel date changes flexibly, paying only the possible fare difference between the original and new tickets. A refund is not possible in the case of a customer cancelling their reservation. 
  • The Flex ticket is a fully flexible and refundable ticket option serving those whose plans can change. When changing travel dates with a Flex ticket, customers only pay the possible fare difference between the original and new tickets. In case a customer wants to cancel their trip, the ticket will be refunded. Flex tickets include checked baggage and advance seat reservation. An Economy Flex ticket bought after 15 June doesn’t include airport priority services. 

Customers who purchased their tickets before 15 June will travel with their original tickets and the benefits that were included with them. Due to the coronavirus situation, Finnair offers all customers with bookings made latest on 31 August 2021 extra flexibility for travel date changes. 

Business travellers back the jab

97% of business travellers say they will take – or have already taken – a coronavirus vaccine.

In a survey conducted by Scott Pawley, more than 19 out of twenty respondents said they will be taking the vaccine. Just 3% claimed they either will not or cannot be vaccinated.

Scott Pawley, managing director of Global Travel Management said

With the gradual return to more business travel, we expect more people will need to be able to show they have had a full dose of SARS-Cov2 vaccine. So it’s great to see such widespread support for the global vaccination programme.


In the survey, published through business social network LinkedIn, respondents were asked if they had taken one jab, a full dose, were waiting to be vaccinated, or were not going to be jabbed.

87% confirmed they had had at least one dose.

Pawley continued

For nearly nine in ten people, the vaccine is starting to protect them – and their friends, families, suppliers, customers and colleagues. The reach and speed of vaccine programmes in many countries is astonishing.

One in ten respondents said they are waiting for their first jab – a percentage that will reduce over time as the vaccine programmes gather pace and as younger age groups qualify for inclusion.

The results show that business travellers are more likely to have been vaccinated – with either one or two jabs – than the wider UK population. As of Friday, 11 June, 78% of the UK adult population had received their first dose and 55.9% had received their second dose.

Pawley added

Business travellers know better than most people how preparation is vital. That may be why so many have taken the precaution of getting vaccinated. It’s a great effort from everyone involved.

It’s great to see so many people taking it seriously.


The survey was self-selecting, among more than 150 users of LinkedIn. You can see the full survey, here.

UK eVOTL network plans announced

Virgin Atlantic has announced a partnership with Vertical Aerospace to launch ‘sustainable, zero emissions’ air travel in the UK.

The partnership includes an option for Virgin Atlantic to purchase up to 150 eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft and exploration of a UK Joint Venture with Vertical Aerospace, to deliver a Virgin Atlantic branded short haul eVTOL network.

Vertical Aerospace unveiled the VA-X4 in 2020

The  fully-electric VA-X4 is a zero emissions, near silent aircraft with a range of over 100 miles. It will carry four passengers in addition to a pilot. The VA-X4 has four tilting advanced rotors at the front and stowable rotors at the rear, capable of speeds over 200mph, and is set to revolutionise urban mobility and electrify air travel, with certification to the same safety standards as commercial airliners.

IVirgin Atlantic  and Vertical Aerospace will be working together to explore a Joint Venture to deliver next generation eVTOL passenger operations in the UK, combining the world-class knowledge and expertise of both partners.  Vertical Aerospace and Virgin Atlantic will seek to establish short haul, electric aircraft connectivity between UK cities and airport hubs starting with London Heathrow, Manchester and London Gatwick.

The airline’s goal is to enable sustainable, price competitive, regional connectivity across the first and last 100 miles of the customer journey.

For example, reducing the 56-mile journey from Cambridge to London Heathrow to just 22 minutes, in comparison to a 1 hour 30 drive by road.

With 37 towns and cities with populations over 100,000 within 100 miles of London Heathrow Airport, the VA-X4 offers huge potential to support zero emissions short haul transfers for 7.7 million customers outside of London, for flights to and from the UK’s main hub airport.

A full-scale prototype of the VA-X4 is currently in production and the first test flight is planned for later this year.

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic said:

With innovation and sustainability leadership firmly in our DNA, we are excited to be partnering with Vertical Aerospace to pioneer sustainable and zero emissions air travel in the UK. We pride ourselves on building enduring strategic partnerships and are thrilled to be working alongside Vertical in its mission to bring eVTOL travel to the UK.

Our partnership includes an option for Virgin Atlantic to acquire up to 150 eVTOL VA-X4 aircraft, combining the design, engineering and manufacturing expertise of Vertical with the award-winning customer experience and operational excellence of Virgin Atlantic.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical CEO and Founder, said:

This is the most exciting time in aviation for almost a century; electrification will transform flying in the 21st century in the same way the jet engine did 70 years ago. By bringing together two entrepreneurial organisations who share the same passion for innovation and best in class partnerships, we can revolutionise urban mobility in the UK and electrify air travel.

We look forward to working closely with Virgin Atlantic and completely changing how people think about flying through the skies.

Commercial operations of the VA-X4 are planned for 2024 following European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification.

As launch partner in the UK, Virgin Atlantic has the option to order between 50 and 150 aircraft.  This is not yet a committed order and with aircraft development still under way, the final order value is yet to be confirmed.

How do you travel to a country that’s not on the green list?

Global Travel Management managing director Scott Pawley has spelled out some examples of how business travellers can still visit – and return from – amber-listed countries.

  • Travel to green list countries is possible with few restrictions  
  • But what if the country you need to visit is outside the government’s green list?
  • And how do you navigate restrictions in destination countries? 
Business Travel Magazine includes an online version, a printed publication available in the UK and a weekly newsletter.

In the article, available here, Scott explains how Global Travel Management works with businesses to ensure that crucial business travel can take place, even to countries outside the green list.

The article discusses the United States’ work exemptions, routes avoiding countries with the greatest restrictions imposed on them, differences in self-isolation requirements and arranging Covid-19 testing at home and abroad.

Scott explained,

We have clients who need to travel to countries that are not – or not yet – on the UK government’s green list. The first thing we do is help them understand the testing requirements that currently exist. So, for an amber list county, it means pre-booking either three or four PCR tests before the trip takes place.

He also explained how each country’s restrictions must be taken into consideration

It’s crucial to ensure that regulations are being adhered to, but, equally, when travel to the United States is business-critical, we do what we can to ensure it can happen.

Scott contributed to the article to share some of the best practice required to ensure businesses that need to travel can do so with as little inconvenience as possible.

You can read the full article here.

New airport lounge brand to be launched

A new brand will be entering the airport lounge sector following a deal between an airport lounge business and a major financial institution.

JPMorgan Chase will introduce business travellers to a new airport lounge: Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club. According to Chase, this ‘will bring to life key aspects of the travel journey and offer a fresh approach to the lounge experience with locations to be announced in select markets over time’.

Marianne Lake: travel has always been important to our customers.

Marianne Lake, Co-CEO of Chase said

Travel has always been important to our customers who aspire for compelling and elevated experiences. We’re investing in meeting our customers where they want to be as more and more of them have the confidence to travel again.

JPMorgan Chase is bringing these lounges to its customers in collaboration with Airport Dimensions, the industry experts in global airport lounges and experiences.

Airport Dimensions designs, builds, and operates airport spaces for lounges and other experiences, and is one of the fastest growing global lounge operators in the world. It has a network of 28 airport lounges and experiences at major airports across the US United Kingdom and Middle East including Atlanta, Dallas Fort Worth, Gatwick, Heathrow, Dubai, and Doha. A further seven lounges are in development.

For more than a decade, Chase Sapphire has activated lounges across the United States at marquee events, serving as hubs for unique access at culinary, entertainment and cultural experiences. the financial services company said, ‘that same inspiration will come to life in airports, providing access to exceptional, authentic and regionally inspired food, drink, art, entertainment and wellness’.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said

Business Travel can involve stressful, time-consuming or un-scheduled waits at airports. So, making use of an airport lounge is a crucial way of ensuring every moment on a journey is well spent. This collaboration between one of the world’s most renowned airport lounge operators and a major financial institution with more than $3 trillion in assets is likely to be of great interest to business travellers.

I look forward to finding out where the first Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club openings will be.