Air New Zealand's blow-up doll scandal has gone around the world.

The airline - often praised by customers and recipient of a "most reputable company" badge in 2016 - is facing criticism internationally after social media pictures surfaced of misbehaving staff.

One showed an Air New Zealand pilot posing with an inflatable doll in the cockpit, while another had an air hostess spitting water with the caption "wish I could spit on passengers like this". reporting of the story labelled the photos "crude", while The Hollywood Gossip described them as "lewd".


Major news outlets including The Times, USA Today and Fox News, and non-English news websites in France and Russia, have also reported the leak.

Meanwhile, social media has been lit up with comments about the photos and video.

Some social media users have said the photos and video are funny, and people need to learn to take a joke. Others have been unimpressed.

On Facebook, comments on the story included that the doll was "disgusting filth" while another asked why the staff didn't keep the "personal joke" between themselves.

Two staff members have been stood down by the airline while an investigation takes place, another no longer works there.

The images were believed to have been shared to Facebook and Instagram after staff sent them on Snapchat. The images and video were produced between one and four years ago, according to the airline.

Air New Zealand was voted New Zealand's most reputable company in the 2016 NZ Corporate Reputation index. It was the third time the airline had topped the index.

It also frequently has passengers raving on social media. Earlier this week, Wellington drama student Nikki Griffith, who found out her father had died while she was waiting for a flight, praised Air New Zealand for their support.

This morning, Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said the bad behaviour by crew posted to social media let down the entire company.