A New Zealand airline has ditched a scene from a safety video after complaints that it was anti-gay.

Air New Zealand’s humorous inflight safety video features a flight full of rugby fans and some members of the All-Blacks national team.

In the deleted scene, All Black centre Richard Kahui poses for a photo with a female flight attendant but politely declines to give gay staff member Will Coxhead a kiss on the cheek.

However, Air New Zealand said the lighthearted video had to be changed after complaints.

“The move comes after complaints from members of the gay and lesbian community in the past week,” the airline said.

The company said it had been told by a university professor, who it did not name, that the video could lead to suicides in the gay community.

Earlier this week, Air New Zealand manager David Morgan told the New Zealand Herald that the video had been shown to some gay people, who approved it.

Mr Coxhead, the Air New Zealand flight attendant who turned actor for the scene, said he was “gutted” by the response of “some people in the gay community”.

“I’m proud to be gay, proud to be an Air New Zealander and extremely proud of my role in the safety video … It was a bit of fun and was only meant as such,” he said.

“Obviously there are some people in the gay community that can be a little precious and need to lighten up.”