Will bikini-clad swimsuit models make airline passengers pay attention to in-flight safety instructions? Air New Zealand certainly hopes so.
On Tuesday, the Kiwi carrier released their latest in-flight safety video, entitled "Safety in Paradise" on YouTube. The video's a joint venture between the airline and Sports Illustrated Magazine, which is releasing its 50th edition of its swimsuit edition.
Clocking in at just over four minutes, the video features the regular list of safety protocols such as turning off electronics before take off, how to fasten your seatbelt, what to do during loss of cabin pressure but replaces standard cabin crew members with Sports Illustrated models Christie Brinkley, Jessica Gomes, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis and Ariel Meredith.
The video's a departure from the standard aircraft setting but manages to capture the basics of in-flight safety one way or the other, while highlighting the beauty of the Cook Islands, the location where Air New Zealand shot the film. What it isn't a departure from is the airline's recent streak of quirky videos.
Earlier renditions of the carrier's videos have featured orcs and elves from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series as well as celebrity Betty White. Competing carriers have caught on too, releasing their own funny videos, featuring song and dance numbers or retro throwbacks to the '80s.
But Air New Zealand has also taken its videos to new heights after it released a behind-the-scenes teaser last week. It's also earned its share of critics, some which are calling the airline sexist for using swimsuit models. You can watch the teaser video below:
Deborah Russell, a lecturer and feminist commentator at New Zealand’s Massey University denounced the video.
"My concern is that as a woman I get on a plane to go to a business meeting say — something serious — and I am confronted by women in bikinis in what are highly sexualised images," said Russell. “I want to be taken seriously but it seems that suddenly they are saying that my sexuality is all that matters about me," the Daily Telegraph writes.
The airline says there's nothing wrong with the video and that the attire is fine given the beach location.
"We have been careful to ensure Safety in Paradise has been produced in a way that is tasteful" maintains Air New Zealand spokesperson Andrew Aitken told Fairfax NZ, adding that it was "entirely appropriate they're wearing beachwear and we were careful to ensure all talent were in appropriate wardrobe choices."
What do you think? Another classic in-flight safety video in the making or a demeaning piece of media? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @HPCaTravel.
Like this article? Follow us on Twitter
Also on HuffPost