A publicity stunt that saw Ryanair chief executive dress in drag as a stewardess has raised €46,000 ($78,200) for the Orbis flying training hospital that visits the developing world.

The Ireland-based low-cost carrier chose Orbis as its official charity for 2006 and on the World Health Organization's World Sight Day on 12 October the airline's flamboyant chief executive dressed as a female flight attendant to launch a collection drive (pictured below).

O'Leary in drag Orbis

The final count for the money raised came to €23,000 and with Ryanair matching that figure.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital uses a converted McDonell Douglas DC-10 aircraft, which operates as a fully equipped eye hospital (see diagram below), as a training hospital for local doctors in the developing world.

Flight reporter Andrew Costerton visited the Orbis Flying Eye for Flight Podcasting in October while it made a stopover in Dubai. Listen to his report here.  

O'Leary says: "Orbis really makes a difference to the lives of thousands and everyone here at Ryanair is proud to help their campaign to fight preventable blindness in the developing world."

Pamela Williams-Jones, chief executive of Orbis says the €46,000 will now enable the charity to restore sight to over 2,000 people in the developing world.

Orbis DC-10 layout

Source: Flight Daily News