Ryanair calendar to benefit children's charity Kids

Annual calendar featuring airline staff in swimwear will fund short breaks for disabled children

Va va voom: the Ryanair calendar
Va va voom: the Ryanair calendar

A children's charity is set to receive €110,000 (£99,000) after being selected as the beneficiary of Ryanair's controversial cabin crew charity calendar for 2010.

Kids, which helps disabled children, was chosen from 200 charity applicants. It is the first UK charity to be selected by the no-frills airline.

The charity, whose income for 2008/09 was £7.1m, will use the money to provide more short breaks for disabled children and their carers.

The calendar, which features female airline staff in bikinis, was branded sexist last year by Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP for London. She also claimed the women who stripped might later regret it.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of Kids, said the charity was satisfied that both the calendar and Ryanair were reputable. He said that, contrary to some reports last year, Ryanair staff were not forced to take part.

"It's great when a bit of fun can serve such a serious purpose," said Williams.

Eight hundred of Ryanair's 4,000 cabin crew applied to pose for the 2010 calendar, which a Ryanair spokesman described as "the hottest yet".

The spokesman said that Michael O'Leary, the company's chief executive, had sent a copy to the "anti-fun" Honeyball.

He added the company was very confident that the calendar, which costs €10, would sell out, raising the full €110,000.

Homelessness organisation Dublin Simon Community and respite care charity Angels Quest have previously benefited from sales of the calendar.

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