Betty White goes old school for Air New Zealand's latest safety video

Air New Zealand has released another of its quirky in-flight safety videos, this time featuring American comedienne Betty White who starred in the US sitcom The Golden Girls.

The veteran of 74 years in showbusiness and six-time Emmy Award winner is supported by a cast of oldies in the four-minute video, including American actor Gavin MacLeod who played Captain Stubing on The Love Boat and Jimmy Weldon, the voice of Yakky Doodle duck in the Yogi Bear Show.

It is the airline's first safety video filmed outside New Zealand and is set at the fictional "Second Wind Retirement Resort" in the US where the residents live "life to the full".

"Air New Zealand has a global reputation for creating unique in-flight safety videos," White said. "We had a lot of fun on set and I think we've shown that it doesn't matter what age you are, it's important to live life to the full."

Air New Zealand has released a string of unusual safety videos, with previous versions featuring flight attendants wearing nothing but body paint, fitness guru Richard Simmons taking passengers through an exercise routine, and another with the All Blacks rugby team.

British adventurer and Man v Wild star Bear Grylls also featured in one, filmed in a remote part of the Routeburn Track near Fiordland in the South Island.

The Grylls video included his familiar patter of survival tips, wise advice and messages from the airline and followed a $NZ1 million partnership between NZ's Department of Conservation and Air New Zealand.

But the most successful safety video so far has been the airline's Hobbit-themed clip, which has had more than 10 million views on YouTube.

The use of quirky videos to gain passenger attention has been emulated by other airlines, with Qantas using Olympic and Paralympic athletes in its video during the London Olympic Games, and Turkish Airlines using football players from Manchester United.

Bangkok Airways had a video featuring flight attendants singing and dancing on the tarmac, while Philippine airline Cebu had attendants dancing while they show how to put on lifejackets.

Collectively, Air New Zealand's safety videos have clocked up more than 25 million views online and have featured in coverage by global media outlets, such as CNN, BBC and the New York Times.

with Fairfax NZ

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