By Emily Cegielski
Safety just got scandalous with the release of Air New Zealand's new in-flight instruction video featuring scantily-clad Sports Illustrated models.
The airline teamed up with Sports Illustrated to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its swimsuit issue, resulting in the four-minute video. Some of SI's most well-known models make an appearance, including three-time cover girl Christie Brinkley.
"I'm grateful to be included in Air New Zealand's safety video," Brinkley said in a press statement. "It features so many SI beauties celebrating SI's 50th anniversary of the swimsuit edition, that it may even have folks on the ground reaching for their oxygen masks."
Air New Zealand is calling the spot the "world's most beautiful safety video," but this hot video is getting the company into some hot water.
Dr. Deborah Russell, a lecturer at New Zealand's Massey University, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the video is offensive to women.
"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 sexualized images," Russell said. "That jars. I want to be taken seriously but it seems that suddenly they are saying that my sexuality is all that matters about me."
Not everyone is so concerned.
Officials at the airline have stated that they think the entire production was tasteful and that proper protocol was followed to make sure the video struck a balance between entertainment and its safety message.
It seems unlikely that the backlash will hurt the airline, and mostly likely, the video will attract positive attention and passenger traffic for Air New Zealand, because - let's be real - a little beauty never made traveling worse than it already is.