Asiana in legal tangle over pilot's beard

Asiana in legal tangle over pilot's beard
PHOTO: Bloomberg

SEOUL - South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines said Wednesday it was taking legal action to resolve a dispute with a pilot who was grounded for refusing to shave off his beard.

The row came to a head in September last year when the unnamed pilot was suspended with pay for 29 days after ignoring an order from a company executive to remove his beard.

Asiana officials said the pilot's beard was not related to religion.

The pilot complained and last month a state labour commission ruled the executive had abused his power by imposing the suspension and ordered the airline to pay some 3.2 million won (S$3,753) in missed flying allowances.

Asiana said Wednesday it had filed a suit with the Seoul Administrative Court to revoke the commission's decision.

"The suit is not related to our dress code but to the commission's ruling on compensation," an Asiana spokesman told AFP.

While there are no specific regulations on beards or moustaches in Asiana's dress code, pilots and staff are required to maintain a "neat and tidy appearance", he said.

Overly long or untidy beards are not acceptable, he added.

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