Kiwi rugby stars teach safety to Air New Zealand fliers

Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:51pm EDT
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WELLINGTON (Reuters Life!) - New Zealand's national airline has adopted a new attitude to engage with their passengers, recruiting several stars of the All Blacks rugby union team for an in-flight safety video.

The Air New Zealand video, which is set to be launched next Monday but is already airing on video-sharing website Youtube, features All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and coach Graham Henry as pilots.

Fellow All Blacks Conrad Smith, Mils Muliaina and Richard Kahui and prominent rugby commentator Tony Johnson also feature in the video, along with some garishly dressed rugby fans. The video is sprinkled with rugby symbolism and terminology.

Henry, a former secondary school headmaster, sternly warns passengers of the airline's no-smoking policy: "If you find yourself needing to smoke on this flight, consider yourself dropped ... we can't have that kind of disruption in the team."

It concludes with a Jonah Lomu-obsessed elderly woman running naked, or streaking, down the central aisle of the plane.

The video will replace the previous "bare essentials" video in which several Air New Zealand staff wearing nothing but body-painted uniforms ran through the safety procedures.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)