Taking a page out of the old Ryanair playbook, Thai carrier Nok Airlines has paraded scantily-clad Maxim models in front of airplanes to promote its flights within Thailand.
The airline created a 2013 calendar and has posted the images to its Facebook page. The airline’s CEO, Patee Sarasin, told Thai media that the women in the photos were not Nok air staff – a key distinction from Ryanair’s work – saying: “It was supposed to be a gift to our customers, and so far the campaign has received positive feedback, increasing the number of passengers. There were so many viewers that the webpage crashed,” ABC News reports.
Yet the Thai Ministry of Culture isn’t so happy about it, telling ABC News that the “campaign focuses on the country’s bad reputation regarding sex services, and an image that other organizations have been trying to change.”
Sarasin defended the photos, in which the models are wearing bikinis in the airline’s signature color of yellow. “The airline business has always been seen as sexy globally,” he tells CNN. “That is why our planes we believe they are well designed – appropriately become the background of these models…Most customers love the calendar and definitely want to own one. As of today, the calendar is becoming a hard-to-find commodity, and the requests for copies keep coming from all walks of life.”
And he does have a point. Ryanair has raised hundreds of thousands of euros for charity thanks to its annual calendar, which features its flight attendants in skimpy bikinis and not much else. Virgin Atlantic flight attendants were named the “hottest in the sky” back in 2011 thanks to a business travel site. And Aeroflot created a calendar of butt-naked flight attendants to give to its VIP fliers in 2010.
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