Europe's third-largest low-cost airline has been accused of enforcing a dress code that's "stuck in the 1950s".
Norwegian Air is being widely criticised for telling female cabin crew that they must carry a doctor's note at all times if they wish to wear flat shoes.
The airline's 22-page dress code says that this doctor's note must be "updated" every six months if a female crew member wishes to continue wearing flats as opposed to heels.
The dress code also states that female crew members must wear eye makeup and some kind of foundation or tinted moisturiser to work. However, male crew members are not permitted to wear makeup unless it's used to conceal acne or bruises.
The airline's sexist dress code is especially galling considering that Norway, a famously progressive nation, ranks second in the world for gender equality.
"Uniform requirements are one thing, but to impose heels and makeup is going too far," the Norwegian Labour Party’s women’s spokesperson, Anette Trettebergstuen, told a Norwegian newspaper, according to The Independent. “The year 1950 rang and it wants its rulebook back. This is super-embarrassing and they should have progressed further.”
A representative for Norway's Socialist Left Party, Ingrid Hodnebo, told local media: "It is almost comical that we face these issues in 2019. While the rest of society has moved on, Norwegian is stuck in the 'Mad Men’ universe from the 1950s and 60s."
However, a spokesman for Norwegian Air has defended the dress code, telling The Times: "Norwegian has a comprehensive set of uniform guidelines to ensure that our flying crew represent our brand in a smart and consistent manner."
The criticism of Norwegian Air's dress code comes around six weeks after Virgin Atlantic removed a longtime requirement that female crew members wear make-up to work. In March, Virgin also gave female crew members the option to wear trousers without having to make a special request for the first time.
A spokesperson for the airline said at the time: "Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work."
British Airways axed its rule requiring female crew members to wear skirts (rather than trousers) in 2016, but the airline still requires female flight attendants to wear makeup.