16 June 2015: In celebration of the new Bristol to Nantes service which takes off on Saturday 4 July, bmi regional celebrates its rapid growth and heritage by unveiling its classic uniform collection, which dates back to the 1960s.
Ever the forward-thinking airline, bmi regional’s uniforms have remained on-trend and in vogue over the years, ensuring its well-turned-out staff have perfectly reflected each era, looking professional and stylish from the top of their hats to the tips of their shoes.
Many iconic designs have appeared over the years including the current hat, which staff proudly wear with glamour and style. Passengers in the may well remember some of the outfits worn by staff and cabin crew.
The uniforms are from a private collection and are modelled in the accompanying photograph by current bmi regional staff, starting with a belted pale blue cotton shirt dress introduced in 1964 for the summer season (from June to end of September).
That was followed in 1970 by a trendy, mandarin outfit by Teddy Tinling, a fashion designer who specialised in celebrity tennis outfits. His bright orange A-line Courtelle dress was worn above the knee with a matching loose-fitting mandarin collared jacket, black accessories and white gloves. A large high-crowned hat was created in orange felt and worn with a wet-look scarf in winter. This chic uniform was never popular with cabin crew as the fabric perished when washed and was soon replaced.
In 1976, an in-house design in a palette of greens that focused on comfort and practicality became known as the ‘Maid Marion look’. That was replaced in 1978 by a new uniform by Garroulds, one of Britain’s leading designers and manufacturers of ‘career clothing for the professions’. It consisted of an A-line skirted suit with hip-length single-breasted jacket in a mink-coloured easy-care fabric with matching hat and a white, brown and rust striped blouse. Accessories included smart brown patent shoes and bag, with brown leather gloves.
In 1988 an imaginative new uniform was introduced, nicknamed the Harlequin by those in the industry due to its distinctive diamond pattern. Designed by The Gibson Line, a Nottingham-based firm specialising in executive corporate wear, this was a contemporary and fun uniform, with a whole host of accessories, including neck scarves, cardigans, tank-tops, waistcoats, trench coats and grey shoes in a choice of three heels.
In 1996 a new uniform was commissioned from Jaeger Corporate Wear and signified a complete departure from uniforms that had gone before. The result was a sophisticated look in dark navy with coordinated skirts, jackets, trousers and coats and boater-style hat. Staff were personally fitted for their uniforms, which cost in excess of £300 each. Jane Shilton handbags and Bally shoes complemented the look.
The Jaeger design formed the basis of the bmi regional uniform that is worn today, as worn by the model in the middle of the photo.
Paul Sies, Chief Commercial Officer said: “Fashions come and go and hemlines go up and down, but bmi regional has prided itself on providing a consistently good service throughout the years. Our staff wear the bmi regional colours with pride and our passengers know that, when they see someone wearing the uniform, they will receive a great service right throughout, with lots of perks, including a generous 20kg of checked baggage per person, free on-board snacks service. Whist other airlines have pulled back from offering onboard services as part of the fare; we still offer a traditional inclusive service which we believe is they key to our success and rapid growth.”
“No matter how our uniforms change in the future, passengers can be assured our excellent service is not a passing fad.”
The new bmi regional Bristol to Nantes service will operate twice-weekly to the Loire region gateway with fares from £79 one way. It follows the introduction in April of services to Paris and Dusseldorf and the re-introduction of Milan at the beginning of the year. These routes, in addition to existing services (to Aberdeen, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt), bring to eight the number of destinations currently serviced by bmi regional from the South West.