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Cebu Pacific hires transwomen flight attendants

Cebu Pacific Airlines, one of the two biggest airline companies in the Philippines, has hired its first transgender women flight attendants – Mikee Vitug and Jess Labares.

A move to recognize transgender women.

Cebu Pacific Airlines, one of the two biggest airline companies in the Philippines, has hired its first transgender women flight attendants – Mikee Vitug and Jess Labares.

Since it was established 19 years ago to compete with Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific has flown over 100 million passengers; and now flies to over 60 destinations in Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

In a Facebook post sharing her “achievement”, Vitug said she was actually hesitant to apply at first, particularly because of the still-conservative view of Filipinos. But after some prodding, she relented.

“I hope it will spark a change sa kung paano ang pagtingin ng mga tao sa mga transwoman na hindi kami i-box or i-stereotype kasi tao din naman kami,” Vitug stated. “To those people who are afraid of going out of their comfort zone, to those people who want to make a change but keep on holding themselves back because of prejudice, judgement, and discrimination, just listen to your heart and make it happen because nothing is impossible.”

https://www.facebook.com/mchlvtg/posts/10215012257368822

For her part, Labares said that she hopes “this will be an inspiration not just to the LGBTQ community but to everyone who dreams and has goals in life to never give up on something you really want… Perseverance, positivity, determination and loving what you are doing are some of the perfect formula to achieve your goal and will definitely lead you the way to success and happiness.”

Fifty-seven days.Blood + sweat + tears + a healthy dose of laughter is, without a doubt, the most perfect formula to…Posted by Jess Labares on Monday, November 18, 2019

While this development is noteworthy for Cebu pacific Airlines, the company’s hiring policy is still not exactly completely non-discriminatory – e.g. it continues to be ageist and lookist. As per cabincrewhg.com, the airline company only hires those between the ages of 18-25, and to succeed, applicants should have “weight proportionate to height”, “clear complexion” and “catchy smile.”

The shameful practices promoting outdated visions of what a flight attendants should look like – and how they should behave – continues to be dominant. For instance, the national airlines of Saudi Arabia and Oman – Saudia and Oman Air – closely follow the Cebu pacific Airlines recruitment format by hiring only female cabin crew members aged to 30. Candidates should also be slim and free of any marks or scars

But overseas, other progressive developments have been happening in the airline industry. In 2017, for instance, in Russia, a Moscow court ruled in favor of a flight attendant who said Russia’s flagship airline stopped assigning her to work long-haul international flights because of her weight. And in April 2019, Aer Lingus and Virgin Atlantic modified their dress codes and no longer required female flight attendants to wear makeup. Pants were also given to all as a standard uniform option.

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Also, earlier, Khrise Castro was hired by American Airlines, proving – as she stated in her Facebook post – that “I am living proof that dreams do come true no matter how impossible it seems.”

From Khrise Castro of American Airlines:"Being a flight attendant is the ultimate dream for a lot of females and…Posted by Flyhigh Manila on Saturday, April 6, 2019

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