An Asiana Airline pilot won an arduous legal battle Wednesday to nullify a ban on growing a beard, more than two years after he was punished for violating company regulations on outfits and looks of airline workers.
An appeals court in Seoul overruled a decision handed down by a lower court in May last year that airline companies have the right to control the looks of staff to provide quality service to passengers.
The pilot's legal campaign began in late 2014 when he had been kicked out of the cockpit for one month. He was allowed to take the control handle again after he promised not to grow a beard.
Asiana insisted pilots should show a strong image with clean-shaven features while many airline companies around the globe do not allow pilots to grow facial hair just for safety reasons, not because of their looks.
The US Federal Aviation Administration alerts pilots not to grow a beard or a mustache because when using an oxygen mask at a time of emergency, air can easily seep through the border of the mask and incapacitate a pilot. However, some British and US air force pilots grow mustaches to honor their veterans.