Nok Air is unperturbed by criticism that it exploited women's bodies as a marketing tool in its new 2013 calendar featuring bikini-clad Maxim models.
The budget airline has even pledged that next year's calendar will be just as daring. "We will surprise many people again," said chief executive Patee Sarasin, who is known for his unorthodox marketing tactics.
He would not go into specifics of his surprise but warned that it may not appeal to everyone, a statement which a source close to him interpreted as relating to "the third gender".
Nok Air's calendar, with women posing in front of jets and showing off their vital assets, was taken to task by critics including the Ministry of Culture, which accused the airline of "lacking a sense of social and cultural responsibility".
Mr Patee, who has a stake in the airline, shrugged off criticisms that the calendar tarnished Thailand's image.
"These pictures of ours are no more exotic than what is already on the magazine stands," he said. "Everybody has the right to express his opinion. If they don't like it, they don't have to look at it."
Interest in Nok Air's calendar, which was Mr Patee's own idea, has been overwhelming since its debut.
More than 6,000 "likes" appeared in the first hour after teaser photos were posted on the airline's Facebook page on Feb 8.
The number has since soared to about 200,000.
Nok Air produced 3,000 calendars and 300 will be offered as part of an online promotion to its Facebook members through a random selection to be announced on Friday.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business