Ryanair dumps bikini-clad flight attendant calendar

Ryanair will not be publishing a calendar of cabin crew in bikinis for 2015, Michael O'Leary has announced.

The budget carrier's chief executive told Today FM in the UK that he plans to scrap the annual calendars, which raise money for charity, last year donating to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The first calendar, in 2008, featured women in skimpy bikinis - with one posing in the cockpit, one sucking on a lift jacket inflator tube, and yet another squeezing a soapy sponge on a runway.

The calendars were, according to Mr O'Leary, an idea initially thought up by staff.

But they were criticised for being sexist and Mr O'Leary has said they no longer fit with Ryanair's new family-friendly image.

"I think it was a great idea by the cabin crew," he was reported as saying by AOL. "It genuinely did raise huge amounts of money for charity and we will struggle to replace it with something as good or as successful."

Last December a judge in Malaga, Spain, banned adverts for the Ryanair calendar following an appeal by a consumer group, ruling that the advertisements were discriminatory.

The UK's Advertising Standards Agency also said Ryanair's "sexually suggestive" advertisements featuring women in underwear to publicise the airline's 2012 cabin crew charity calendar were likely to cause "widespread offence".

At the time, Mr O'Leary hit back at the watchdog for allowing pictures of scantily-clad women in glossy magazines such as Vogue and Marie Claire but not in advertisements for a charity calendar.

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A Ryanair spokesman said it is still finalising its charity options for 2015, which will be unveiled soon.

Mr O'Leary has also spoken in recent week about getting rid of the garish interiors that feature on the airline's planes in favour of "more subtle" colours and even photos of "happy, smiley people".

VietJet Air is another budget airline that has come under fire for using scantily-clad woman to promote its flights recently.

Photographs were leaked showing lingerie models pretending to be cabin crew, but the company said it had not at that point decided whether to use the images as part of an advertising campaign.

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