Air India unveils new uniforms for cabin and cockpit crew, designed by Manish Malhotra

In September 2023, it came to the fore that Air India had engaged the popular Indian fashion designer, Manish Malhotra, to design the next iteration of the uniforms for their frontline staff. Today, Air India has unveiled the looks of those uniforms.

Air India’s next iteration of the uniform

Today, Air India, India’s leading global airline, unveiled its brand-new collection of cabin and cockpit crew uniforms crafted by Indian celebrity couturier Manish Malhotra. The new uniforms will be introduced in phases over the next few months, starting with the entry of Air India’s first Airbus A350 into service.

Malhotra’s take on modern Indian style complements Air India’s recently unveiled new global brand identity.

Unlike prior reporting that the Air India Saree will be discontinued, the female cabin crew attire features a ready-to-wear ombré saree with intricate patterns reminiscent of Indian heritage architecture (jharokha) and the Vista (new Air India logo icon) paired with a comfortable blouse and blazer. The ready-to-wear sarees can be optionally worn with comfortable pants, which provides greater flexibility to the female cabin crew to choose the style they most identify with and brings a unique East-meets-West look.

The ombré sarees for the senior female cabin crew will be aubergine-to-burgundy, combined with aubergine blazers, exuding a balance of authority and sophistication. Conversely, the junior female cabin crew will wear vibrant red-to-purple ombré sarees combined with red blazers, embodying youthfulness and energy.

a group of women in red and purple dressesa group of women wearing colorful dresses

a group of women wearing matching outfits

The technique of ombrés is a signature attributed to Malhotra, reflecting his deep-rooted fondness for traditional attire and gradients. The colour palette of the new uniforms comprises deep red, burgundy, aubergine, and accents of gold, paying homage to India’s rich cultural heritage.

The male cabin crews will get a bandh gala, with different colours indicating their seniority, although Air India did not indicate which colour indicates the junior/senior nature of the male cabin crews.

The well-fitting male and female cabin crew uniforms are practical and suited to perform in-flight duties with ease of movement. The new uniform designs were developed in close consultation with Air India’s cabin crew representatives and the airline’s In-flight Services team, who also conducted an extensive testing exercise for the new designs.

a group of people wearing uniforms

The cockpit crew’s uniform features a classic black double-breasted suit with a print inspired by the Vista, signifying professionalism, timelessness, and the gravitas of the flying profession.

two women in uniform standing next to a suitcase a group of people in uniform a group of people in uniform

Malhotra has also curated footwear that blends style and comfort, allowing each step to resonate with the grace and poise inherent in Air India’s sartorial overhaul. The female cabin crew will wear dual-tone (black and burgundy) block heels, and the male cabin crew will wear comfortable black Brogues. The uniforms include pearl earrings and sling bags for the female cabin crew.

Here is a video that was posted by Air India about the thought process behind the new uniform design.

Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India, said,

Air India’s crew uniforms are amongst the world’s most storied in aviation history, and we firmly believe that Manish Malhotra’s innovative ensemble will script an exciting new chapter for Air India’s future narrative. It perfectly captures the essence of our new identity, service principles, and our pursuit of setting new benchmarks in global aviation.

He further added,

Air India has been in the world’s spotlight for some time. We are confident that our new crew uniforms will rise to the heightened expectations, distinctly making a statement that defines the very best of Indian heritage and hospitality. Travellers across continents will be able to instantly recognise these uniforms as the new Air India.

Manish Malhotra said,

I am honored to have been given the opportunity to design the uniforms for Air India. It is a privilege to be able to contribute to the national flag-bearer and showcase the elegance and charm of Indian fashion. My aim was to create uniforms that capture the essence of India’s diverse culture and traditions while also embodying a modern and sophisticated look. By incorporating quintessential hues that are symbolic to India, I hope that these uniforms not only make the crew feel proud but also leave a lasting impression on the guests, representing the warmth and hospitality that India is known for.

Malhotra has crafted uniforms for not just Air India’s cabin crew and pilots but the ground staff, engineers, and security personnel, which will be revealed in due course.

Sustainability and quality have been the cornerstones of these new uniforms’ design and production process. All fabrics and garments are sourced and tailored in India.

These uniforms don’t just look good but also get the job done. However, how they look a couple of years is anyone’s guess. We’ll need to wait and watch on the wear and tear.


Air India has revealed new uniforms for their cabin and cockpit crew, which Manish Malhotra designed. These uniforms will be put into service when the A350, due to be delivered anytime now, enters service for Air India. The uniforms are in aubergine, burgundy and gold trims.

What do you think of the new uniforms for Air India designed by Manish Malhotra?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I feel there’s nothing else quite like Vistara’s adorable and amusing cabin crew uniform (Male and female) in the Domestic Indian skies.

    Why doesn’t Tata Air India just adopt Vistara’s logo and livery as was done , if I recall, during merger of Continental and United airline in USA.? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • @SRQ, everyone has their views. Ultimately, the views of the owners count more, and the owners decided that Vistara will be merged into Air India, and the Air India legacy will move forward. As simple as that.

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