Saturday, February 19, 2011

Airline seeks transsexual cabin crew

Transsexual flight attendants with PC Air. Photograph: Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom

GO NICHE : THE ANNOUNCEMENT that new Thai airline PC Air is to recruit transsexuals as cabin crew has proven a coup in marketing terms, generating a profile even Michael O’Leary would be impressed with.

Katoeys or “ladyboys” are something the Thai people have long been comfortable with and airline boss Peter Chan, who was himself an air steward for a number of years, believes there is no reason why members of “the third sex” cannot do the job as well as anyone else.

As someone who is something of a third sex herself – a woman in a permanent uniform of fleece and jeans – I agree entirely. And if anyone can find a fourth or a fifth sex then I’m all for that too. The more the merrier.

What would give me cause for pause when booking a ticket with PC Air, however, is its slogan: I believe it’s “my way”.

It’s writ large along the side of the plane, including quotation marks, so it’s obviously something they’ve given a lot of thought to.

But I’ve read and reread it so many times trying to figure out what it might mean that my head hurts and I’m still none the wiser.

The only thing that occurs to me is that perhaps the entire story is in fact some sort of viral promotion for a new Alan Partridge series.

If not, at least the slogan gives passengers something more to ponder during flights than which is the hostess with the mostess.

2. Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew Voted Sexiest in the World
In a recent survey, Virgin Atlantic’s flight crews were voted the most sexy of all, taking 53% of the overall vote, as reported by The Daily Mail. The survey of 1000 people was conducted by the Business Travel and Meetings Show. Singapore Airlines, which finished in second place despite consistently ranking as the best cabin crew in the world, only managed to garner 18% of the votes.

The top 10:

Virgin Atlantic
Singapore Airlines
Aer Lingus
Cathay Pacific
The lopsided results have been attributed to Virgin’s ad campaigns, which show beautiful men and women in Virgin’s famous red fitted outfits. Always a fresh face himself, Sir Richard Branson demands his staff always look their best. In fact, on Virgin’s cabin crew recruitment page it states:

You’ll be the face of the airline. As such, your grooming should always be immaculate – even after a long, tiring flight.

Does the appearance of the cabin crew affect your choice of airline to fly with?

3. Shiv Sena demands end to walk-in interviews for Air India cabin crew
Demanding a stop to the ongoing walk-in interviews for Air India cabin crew in Delhi, the Shiv Sena on Thursday accused the airline management of adopting an anti-Marathi stance. A delegation of party MPs met Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi on behalf of the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena, a trade union arm of the Sena, and presented a memorandum of demands.

“We demanded an immediate stop to the walk-ins, being held in Delhi, to fill 8,500 vacancies for cabin crew. These recruitments are being done on contract basis, which means the crew cannot form unions, join them or avail themselves of any privileges to which regular employees are entitled. The management is using the divide-and-rule policy [to break the strength of the unions]. Moreover, Air India operations are being shifted out of Mumbai. One unit was shifted to Kochi, another to Kolkata and other operations to Delhi. This policy is anti-Maharashtra and anti-Marathi. Air India was born in Mumbai and a major chunk of its employees is from here,” Shiv Sena MP Bharatkumar Raut told a press conference.

Sena MP Anandrao Adsul said there had been a deliberate conspiracy to weaken the airline company by handing lucrative routes over to private players.

“All the profitable routes were given to private airlines, as a result they made money and the national carrier ended up with losses. Why is it that despite the huge increase in passenger traffic, Air India is still running into losses,” Mr. Adsul asked.

'Bid to wreck union'

The Sena alleged that the management was trying to wreck the employees' union, and that the plan to shift the company's base out of Mumbai was aimed at slackening the Sena's clout with the unions.

Sena spokesperson Anil Desai said that even as the employees were not paid wages on time, the company's chief operating officer (COO), expatriate Captain Gustav Baldauf, took home a pay-check running into crores of rupees.

Earlier, Mr. Ravi stressed the need to evolve a new methodology to improve the performance of the carrier. He said “a third party” might be roped in to decide the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines.

“We want to satisfy the employees. There is a difference of opinion between the employees of Air India and Indian Airlines and between the employees and the management on parity issues. Pay-scales and promotions have to be sorted out. We need time to resolve these issues. I want to carry everybody with me. Wage-cuts were never on my mind. The merger must take place, parity has to come about, but the question is how it is going to be done. It can also be done by a third party.

4. EYEWITNESS: 'Brian and pal were boozing.. then got in a row over cigs with cabin crew'
Well Brian, did you enjoy your flight from Los Angeles? POP star Brian McFadden denied he launched into a drunken rant yesterday - after he was quizzed by cops over alleged "air rage".
The star was questioned after his Virgin flight from Los Angeles touched down at Sydney Airport.
It's believed cabin crew had radioed ahead because of the former Westlife singer's behaviour.
It was alleged Brian, 30, had been drinking with his fellow Australia's Got Talent judge Kyle Sandilands when staff suspected they smelled cigarette smoke.
Brian, backed by his pal, strenuously denied he was the culprit in what's claimed was an "aggressive conversation". One Australian passenger said: "They were arguing, a lot of us heard it."
But Brian, who was released without charge after talking to police, denied he was abusive to staff or fellow passengers. He said: "I wasn't drunk or smoking - I was singing a baby a lullaby."
A spokeswoman for the airline confirmed there had been an incident on the flight but said it was an issue for federal police.
The star had left his Business Class seat to visit the crying tot in economy. He claimed last night: "I had met a lady with a baby before getting onboard.
"I simply went back to see her as the baby was being restless. I'm good with kids and I thought I could give her a break if I sang to the kid.
"Why else would I be going back through the curtains into economy? I actually slept for most of the flight." Brian emerged from the airport wearing a grey tracksuit and designer sunglasses and said: "There was a bit of turbulence four hours in..."
Bizarrely, when asked if he was smoking on the plane, he claimed, "I don't smoke" despite having a cigarette dangling from his mouth at the time.
And later, the jet-lagged singer said: "I had a couple of drinks on the plane, I'm not going to lie about that.
"But I definitely wasn't causing a scene or causing any problems for anybody.
"I 100% did not smoke. I didn't joke about smoking. If I was going to smoke on the plane, I would hardly go around telling people I'm going to. It takes a lot more than a couple of drinks to get me drunk, I'm an Irishman." And he later took to Twitter to defend himself further, writing: "Wasn't arrested! Didn't smoke on the flight. And the Virgin staff were very nice.
"I did have a few drinks but I was not smashed and abusive.
"If reports were true then I would have been arrested, fined and worse! Banned from my favourite airline V Australia. Storm in a tea cup."






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1 comment:

  1. Great article. i have heard a lot of this airlines and there making a Buzz about it. I found this article Asian ladyboy Doc,its real people and real lives.