SPOTLIGHT ON SKYPRO
SKYPRO’s uniforms and accessories offer crew a bit of glamour without compromising functionality or the quality of the fabrics used.
technology, the company — an IATA Strategic Partner — launches new models annually, and recently developed the first certified shoe for airline crew with EN ISO 20347:2012. SKYPRO products are equipped with Fullsense SkyProtect — the company’s promise to airline crews to offer full protection and comfort. “Every product designed by SKYPRO is developed to improve an aviation professional’s life, to keep them safe and comfortable,” says Pinto. Last year, SKYPRO launched a line of undergarments specifically designed to control body temperature and aid with posture correction while flying. The company also introduced flight socks with level one compression, which SKYPRO says should be mandatory for all flight attendants and pilots. In 2015, the company began a new project in partnership with CITEVE (Textile Technology Centre) to create fabrics specifically designed for airline crew. This year, with the support of CITEVE, the world’s best player in the textile industry, SKYPRO will be launching at the World Travel Catering Expo (WTCE) in Hamburg its new project titled, Uniforms of the Future. “The aim of this project is to develop innovative solutions for uniforms that will improve the quality of life for airline crew, focusing on quality and performance with comfort, UV protection, breathability, color fading and wash-ability resistance,” says the company. “Our first collection of uniforms will be presented at WTCE and will be a revolutionary offering.” Aside from its new project, SKYPRO is also focusing on improving its IT systems, 60 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2017
services and infrastructure at both their European office in Portugal and their U.S.-based office in Atlanta, in order to provide airlines with better support and delivery services.
The fabric factor
With recent reports of airline crew developing heath issues, including headaches, rashes and respiratory problems from new uniforms, the materials and fabrics used to manufacture such garments have become more important than the overall look or aesthetic of the final ensemble. “During the last year, airline crew uniforms were often selected based on the style or glamour it exuded, without regard to the outfits’ functionality or the quality of the fabrics used,” Pinto explains. “Some fibers might be less expensive, but are not suitable for something that will be worn daily for several hours at a time.” Pinto says that when airlines select new uniforms, they must consider two important factors: textiles — fibers and fabric — and functional design. By considering these two factors, an airline will likely select a uniform that is both comfortable and safe to wear, leading to happy crew members and consequently, a better experience for the passengers on board. “A uniform has to be made with a high percentage of natural fibers to allow for breathability and good moisture absorption,” says Pinto. “At SKYPRO we call this ‘skin-friendly textiles’. SKYPRO uniforms are designed to keep crew comfortable and safe; they not only look professional, but also wear better, fit better and wash better.”
Last year saw SKYPRO make some substantial strides. The company was awarded Best Supplier of the Year by Etihad Airways and saw its revenue increase by 87%. With a steady year behind them, SKYPRO started 2017 by working with new airlines, predominantly Middle Eastern carriers, including Etihad Airways, Qatar Executive and flydubai. “We are also serving crew around the world via our online store, serving top airlines like Lufthansa, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Luxair and SAS,” Pinto adds. In order to be more accessible in the U.S., SKYPRO launched an online store dedicated to its American customers, which can be accessed by visiting www. wearskypro.com/us. At this year’s WTCE in Hamburg, SKYPRO’s stand will be dedicated to its new uniform collection, which features innovative textiles. In addition, the company’s mainstay — footwear — will also be on display, specifically a new collection of women’s shoes featuring five new models and a new collection of men’s shoes featuring six new models, along with a collection of handbags and additional leather goods. In addition to the new products, the SKYPRO team is also working on a series of services aimed at helping airlines better manage their uniform departments. “Our aim is to care for the uniforms until they are delivered to the final user,” says Pinto. “We will be able to provide uniform consultancy, fabric development and consultancy, manage fitting sessions, fitting consultancy and uniform warehousing inventory management.”