The success of the 2008 Calendar saw Ryanair produce a second one for 2009. The 2008 calendar sold its entrire print run of 10,000 within a few days of its launch. It also raised £70,000 for the nominated charity, Angels Quest, which enabled them to build a new respite home for children in Dublin. They invited charities to apply to be the partner for the 2009 version.
The eventually selected charity for 2009 was the homeless charity, the Dublin Simon Community but despite the good intentions of the calendar it ran into trouble almost immediately after it was published.
February: Edita, Miss Lookout
The calendar was photographed in Spain and within days of publication in November 2008 the Institute for Women in Spain announced possible legal action and complaints to both the Irish and Spanish authorities.
Killjoy spokeswoman María Jesús Ortiz claimed the images presented the women as 'sexual objects.' Er, yes... They also claimed that the airline should have included men in the calendar as they made up a significant part of the employees of the industry.
April: Sheila, Miss Cockpit
Spanish consumer lobbying organisation FACUA, which had objected to the previous year's calendar as well, said that: "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." Three of the Ryanair staff posing for the calendar were Spanish (for completeness sake we can reveal that they were Andrea (Miss January), Sheila (Miss April) and Silvia (Miss May)). Ryanair sent a free copy of the calendar to FACUA and a spokesman for the airline said "Our 2009 Calendar proves yet again that Spanish women are among the most outgoing, fun and sexy women in Europe. We are calling on FACUA to embrace this year’s calendar as it raises much needed funds for charity while at the same time showing off the best Spain and Ryanair has to offer passengers."
Also throwing her weight into the ring against Ryanair was young Swedish politician Birgitta Ohlsson, who no doubt was pleased with all the publicity. Ryanair sent her a calendar too.
Ryanair launched the calendar in November and managed to persuade a couple of the girls to strip off in a cold and gloomy Dublin Airport.
Unfortunately for Ryanair, the launch day co-incided with an incident at Rome when one of their planes landed heavily and skidded off the end of the runway after multiple bird strikes.
The wrong sort of birds cause problems for Ryanair
Five occupants of the plane, including two cabin crew were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
More controversy followed the launch when it was revealed that of the 700 Ryanair girls who applied to appear in the calendar only four of them were Irish. One, in fact, was chosen but had to pull out due to the famous "other commitments".
Nevertheless, Ryanair had to field criticisms that they discriminated against Irish girls. Top Irish model Rosanna Davidson entered the debate saying: "If I was organising it, I would have made sure that Irish women were involved because it's an Irish charity and Irish fundraising."
However, all of this was but a storm in a styrofoam teacup compared to what was about to hit the turbo-fan.
Edita Schindlerova in uniform
In March 2009, The Sun revealed that Stanstead based Miss February, Edita Schindlerova was moolighting as a porn star under the name Edita Bente. The 5'2" girl from the Czech Republic seemed bored with the question when approached by the press, indicating that it was no big deal.
Now when the tabloids claim some minor celebrity is a "porn star" they usually mean that she has been photographed with her knickers off in one of the sleazier mens magazines. However, in 22 year old Edita's case they were actually correct as she appears (and still does) on several sites in pictures and video. In several sequences she is being entertained by several chaps who may well be passenger whom she inadvertantly dropped drinks on their laps and then got to know as she dried them up with a napkin. Or not.
Now nearly all of her pictures are far too naughty even for this site although we may put her on Venus Observations in the future! Actually they may be toonaughty for that too. We would have to create an even naughtier site just for her!
Ryanair's response to all this extra publicity was only to be expected: “what people do before or after they work for us is their business” they said, with commendable open-mindedness. Not only didn't they sack Edita but signed her up the following year for the 2010 calendar (which we will look at in the future).
So, all that remains is to look at the final few months of Ryanair's most controversial calendar and contemplate our examination of 2010's edition.
October: Daniela, Miss Safety
Oh, and if we had to pick a favourite it would probably be the lovely Ulle, from March.