Budget airline AirAsia will roster only male flight attendants on flights to Aceh, after the Indonesian province said that Muslim female flight attendants would have to don the hijab upon arrival in the region.
"AirAsia acknowledges the regulation imposed by the authority of Aceh region. We are committed to ensure that our operations adhere to it.
"For the time being, all AirAsia flights from and to Aceh will be operated by male cabin crew," AirAsia said in a brief statement.
On Wednesday (Jan 31), Aceh authorities circulated a letter to Indonesian carrier Garuda Indonesia and other budget carriers such as AirAsia and Firefly, which ordered Muslim female flight attendants to wear hijab upon arrival, or face punishment by the religious police.
Firefly chief-executive-officer Ignatius Ong meanwhile said that the airline may roster only males or non-Muslims on its flights to the Indonesian autonomous region.
Ong also said that the budget airline is considering adding an additional layer of clothing to the uniforms of its female flight attendants.
"We are still assessing the situation. So, no concrete decision has been made yet," he told The Star.
AirAsia and Firefly are the main foreign carriers operating flights to Banda Aceh.
Aceh is the only Indonesian province to implement Sharia law. (bbn)