Singapore cabin crew spark debate in Norway

Norwegian airline owner’s impression on a trip with young Singapore stewardesses set off shock waves when he told TV2 comparing the flying experience with that from SAS.
     “Singapore Airlines has these Singapore girls, and that makes for a bit of a difference in image than SAS, which takes back their old stewardesses after they have had children,” said tycoon Fred Olsen, whose business empire includes shipping and planes.
     Baffled SAS press spokeswoman Siv Meisingseth said she could not see any connection with motherhood and reduced abilities to work as a stewardess.
     “We highly value the employees that have been with us for many years. With several years on the ground they also bring valuable expertise into the air,” she added.
     Norway’s Gender Equality Ombudsman is fuming, while the Norwegian union for cabin crews said Olsen’s view of women was beneath comment.
Aftenposten newspaper published Olsen’s remark, and readers’ reactions were surprisingly broad.
     “It is nice to see that it is possible to be so politically incorrect,” said one reader, while another agreed that SAS’s planes is a gathering place for aging aunties.
     But many believe Olsen, who owns Sterling Airline, should be thinking passenger safety, not stewardess beauty.
     “I had no idea that cabin personnel in a plane were there to give passengers something pleasant to look at,” one astounded woman wrote.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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