By Rory Reynolds
BUDGET airline staff havegone from Ryanair to Ryan-bare – by stripping off to raise £100,000.
The airline’s yearly calendar is set to raise a record sum for the KIDS charity, which supports disabled children.
Last year the airline’s campaign came under fire after Labour MEP Mary Honeyball claimed that the firm were forcing cabin crews to take off their clothes for the calendar.
But this year the Irish-based airline’s chief Michael O’Leary hit back, saying that the calendar raised hundreds of thousands for charity – and even sent one of the first copies to the MEP herself.
The airline say that the calendars have raised around £270,000 over the last three years.Their spokesman Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair’s cabin crew stunners once again strip off for charity and this year they’re doing it for the KIDS charity.
“This year’s calendar is the hottest yet and we hope to raise £100,000 to help KIDS assist even more disabled children and their families in the UK. Every year the calendar sells like hot cakes and at just £9 the 2010 edition won’t be available for long.
“Those who want to help ‘KIDS’ and bring a smile to someone’s face all year long should buy the calendar onboard Ryanair flights or from the Ryanair website today.
“Ryanair is delighted to partner with the KIDS charity and looks forward to donating a cheque for £100,000, when all 11,000 calendars are sold, on behalf of all Ryanair’s cabin crew who have raised almost £270,000 for charity over the past three years”.
The KIDS charity supports children with a broad range of disabilities, as well as arranging for children to go on short breaks with their families with their Direct Short Breaks service.
KIDS chief executive, Kevin Williams said: “We are delighted that Ryanair has this year chosen to support the much valued, practical support that KIDS provides for disabled children and their families across the UK.
“Our thanks go to all the Cabin Crew who took part – it’s great when a bit of fun can serve such a serious purpose.
“Our unique Direct Short Breaks service provides opportunities for disabled children and their carers which would otherwise simply not be possible”.