European budget carrier Ryanair has once again invited controversy with the release of its 'Girls of Ryanair' calendar…
First launched in 2008, the annual calendar features female flight attendants from the airline posing in bikinis, often on board or beside Ryanair planes.
The initial launch of the calendar was greeted by anger from some, including the Spanish government, whose Women's Institute sent letters of complaint to the airline.
Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has defended the calendar on the grounds that it raises money for charity.
The airline says it aims to raise €100,000 ($A137,000) for charity this year, bringing the total raised from its calendars to more than €400,000 ($A548,800). Ryanair crew select a charity to support each year – this year's beneficiary is Germany's 'Tafel', who provide food to people in need.
Tafel's Chief Executive, Gerd Häuser, welcomed Ryanair's move.
"We encourage German passengers to buy even more Ryanair cabin crew calendars this year in the knowledge that every €10 they spend on the cabin crew calendar goes straight to Tafel," he said.
O'Leary said the calendar sold particularly well in Germany, even as the airline announced plans to cancel flights on nine routes in the country due to a proposed air passenger tax.
Ryanair and its outspoken boss have long courted controversy over its low-cost operating model, which sees passengers hit by a variety of fees including a £5 ($A8) charge for printing out their own boarding passes. The airline phased out check-in desks last year.
Earlier this year, O'Leary suggested another way to make money would be to charge passengers to use the toilets on board planes. The airline has also said it is looking into 'vertical seating' as a way to fit more passengers on to planes.