Spanish consumers group slam Ryanair pin-up calendar

MADRID, Dec 11 (Reuters Life!) - A charity calendar sold by Ireland’s low-cost airline Ryanair showing its air hostesses in skimpy bikinis demeans women and breaks the law, a Spanish consumer group said on Tuesday.

The Ryanair 2008 calendar called “The Girls of Ryanair” has photos of air hostesses posing in and outside of planes, dressed in bikinis rather than their normal blue suits.

April’s hostess is Nicola from London Stansted, who is wearing only bikini bottoms, with her breasts covered by a lifejacket. “Miss July” -- Edita from Marseille -- reclines backwards over a wheel with a wrench in her hand and grease on her body.

“The company is attacking the dignity of women workers in general and especially of cabin crew members, by presenting stereotypical images of these professionals which they have spent years struggling against”, Spanish consumer group FACUA said in a statement.

Ryanair, which is selling the calendar for five 5 pounds ($10) and giving the proceeds to the children’s charity Angels Quest, was not immediately available for comment.

FACUA has complained about the calendar and its promotional material to Spain’s Women’s Institute, which is part of the Labour Ministry, and to the National Consumer Institute.

It argues the Ryanair photos break Spanish law because they are the kind of images which promote macho behavior and violence towards women.

In February, Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana withdrew one of its adverts from the Spanish market after FACUA branded it sexist and the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry agreed it was illegal and humiliating to women.

Reporting by Sarah Morris, editing by Paul Casciato