Using sexy flight attendants to advertise an airline is nothing new, but the Flight Attendants Association of Australia says it has had enough of them. According to the FAAA, the ads are demeaning, and increase the risk of sexual harassment. One of the clips that triggered their outrage can be seen above.
The clip, made for Russian low cost airline AviaNova, shows the flight crew stripping down and sponging off the airplane. A spokeswoman for the FAAA said:
“It is a sad reflection of the attitude of the airlines’ executives, dare I say more than likely middle aged males, towards cabin crew, in particular female cabin crew, by portraying them in such a demeaning, distasteful and irrelevant manner.”
Now, I’m partly in agreement with her, but to paint airline executives as a bunch of middle aged males shows an equal amount of disrespect, as many of these ads come from the airline PR firm, and I highly doubt the airline executives specifically asked for something with some skin – PR and marketing people don’t need help from airline executives to know that sex and partial nudity sells.
The FAAA is going to take the issue to the International Transport Federation, but I suspect that they have more important issues to deal with than asking airlines to stop promoting themselves in the most effective way possible.
The Russian carrier is by no means the first to resort to this tactic, using looks and fashion to sell airplane tickets dates back to the 60’s and 70’s when airlines would pick attractive flight attendants for their planes, and feature them in commercials. In recent years, carriers like Ryanair and VivaAerobus have even commissioned calendars showing off their cabin crew.