by Tanya Thomas on  January 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM Lifestyle News
 First Transsexual Cabin Crew Employed By 'Pioneering' Thai Air Boss
The president of the first Thai airline to hire transsexuals as flight attendants on Thursday said he was a "pioneer" and predicted other carriers would follow his lead.

Fledgling airline PC Air has already recruited six crew of the "third sex" and boss Peter Chan said recruitment, driven by a belief in equal rights, would continue.

"I think these people can have many careers, not just in the entertainment business, and many of them have a dream to be an air hostess. I just made their dream come true," he told AFP.

Thailand has one of the largest transsexual populations in the world and its surgeons have pioneered ever cheaper and quicker sex change techniques for those opting to go under the scalpel.

But the airline does not require applicants to have gone through a surgical procedure, merely that they meet job criteria, including language skills and good service

"When it's their dream job or the job they love, they can do it even better," Chan said.

"Our society has changed -- it's evolution. I'm an pioneer, and I'm sure there will be (other) organisations following my idea."

More than 100 transsexual people applied for the first round of jobs.

Among the successful applicants was Thanyarat "Film" Jiraphatpakorn, winner of the Miss Tiffany beauty pageant in 2007, according to a report in Thailand's Nation newspaper.

"At first I thought they would just take applications but not actually recruit us, as happened at other places before," said the 23-year-old, adding that she was delighted to have been chosen.

The airline is not yet in operation, but hopes to be fully up and running by April with charter flights across Asia.

Source: AFP

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