Stab Magazine | Airline Safety Video Featuring Pro Surfers Criticised By Civil Aviation Authority

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Airline Safety Video Featuring Pro Surfers Criticised By Civil Aviation Authority

Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, Laird Hamilton, Alana Blanchard “extraneous material”.

news // Aug 31, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Zealand’s aviation watchdog has criticised one of the only airlines with a digestible menu; Air New Zealand, for taking the focus away from the safety in one of its preflight videos. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) expressed concerns at the approach taken by the carrier over the safety video titled Surfing Safari released last year, a five minute instructional reel featuring Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, Alana Blanchard, Laird Hamilton, Anastasia Ashley, Ricardo Christie, Maz Quinn, Paige Hareb and Masatoshio Ohno. A high-caliber cast that transforms what is usually a rather sterile production into worthwhile viewing. However, the straights aren’t happy.

According to the TVNZ story, the CAA believes “the video diverges materially from the ‘safety message'” and that “the extraneous material detracts from the scope and direction of the safety message,” even though Gabs does an amazing job inflating a life vest and alighting his SUP in a calm and controlled manner.

Gabriel Medina Air NZ

Your inflight entertainment.

The carrier prides itself on its entertaining preflight instructionals utilising sports, film and television celebrities to engage their passengers as well as building marketing buzz. Global brand manager, Jodi Williams told TVNZ’s Seven Sharp “We took what was an instructional help video and turned it on its head and created really entertaining content that not only demonstrated the safety messages, and we saw more customers watching them as a result of it, but also a really amazing piece of marketable material.”

Though, Air NZ has also had a few turbulent PR moments in the past: Drunk off-duty cabin crew causing in-flight commotion (one female member straddling an All Blacks football player in his seat), pilots kissing blowup dolls and one social video of a staff member spitting water, charmingly captioned: “wish I could spit on passengers like this.” Feminist commentators even called one preflight film starring bikini-clad Sports Illustrated models “highly sexualised.” Stab thought this film should be provided for viewer’s discretion:

Though the CAA has expressed its objection to the video’s content, Air New Zealand will still be allowed to use it.

“Kia ora, thanks for watching” – Laird Hamilton.



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