MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Cebu Pacific Air plans to have more flights that will feature a dancing airline crew.
The nation’s second flag carrier said in its Twitter account on Wednesday that its flight attendants (FAs) danced just once while demonstrating safety procedures for passengers.
“Hi! Yep, we only did once so far, but we might do it on more selected flights,” a company spokesperson said in a tweet to ABS-CBN News.
Some passengers of the airline were asking why crew in their flights were not breaking into a dance as shown in a video clip that has gone viral worldwide.
The YouTube video of Cebu Pacific’s dancing flight attendants, which was uploaded last Thursday, now has over 7 million views and was featured in the online platforms of CNN, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, and other news companies.
It was also picked up by PerezHilton.com, a Hollywood celebrity gossip website.
Cebu Pacific has explained that its FAs did not do the dance routine against their will, adding that they "volunteered" and "enjoyed" doing the said performances.
The airline added that the dance does not replace the serious safety demonstration as required by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Some sectors, however, are not satisfied with Cebu Pacific’s explanation.
“This plan to make FA's dance before passengers potentially violates the Labor Code. It was certainly not what the flight attendants ever thought of doing when they applied for work,” Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said. “It may also violate the Magna Carta for Women and the airline safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”
“While the dance routine most probably captured the passengers’ attention, it was obviously difficult to intently listen and hear the safety instructions because of the loud music,” he added.
Malacañang, meanwhile, believes that there are other ways to promote travel and tourism in the country.
“Siguro mas makaka-attract ng tourism kung magpo-promote ng masigasig iyung ating tourist attractions,” deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Wednesday.
“Iyung mga beaches natin. Mas mabuti po siguro na mas mag focus tayo doon sa services natin and dun sa pagpo-promote ng magagandang lugar sa ating bansa,” she added.
The CAAP has started investigating the issue.
CAAP Director-General Alfonso Cusi ordered Captain Jim Sidiongco, flight safety standards and inspectorate services chief, to determine if Cebu Pacific violated international safety standards.
Cusi said the CAAP also wants to know if the dance performance allows FAs to properly explain flight safety procedures to passengers.
Sidiongco believes that the airline is using the dancing FAs as a promotional and marketing gimmick.
He said they have talked to Cebu Pacific officials regarding plans to deploy inspectors who will watch the flight crew’s dance performance live. - with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News