The controversial low-cost Vietnamese airline Vietjet Air, also known as ‘bikini airline’, has announced direct flights between Vietnam's capital Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi starting in July this year. Billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao-run low cost carrier will operate four flights weekly.
Popularly known as 'bikini airline,' Vietjet Air’ will start operations in July this year. It has drawn flak for its on-board 'fashion shows' featuring models in swimsuits walking down the aisle.
The airline had courted controversy in 2012, after it started to publish an annual calendar featuring bikini-clad models dressed as flight attendants, pilots as well as ground staff. It has also drawn flak for its on-board 'fashion shows'.
The airline had announced its plan to connect India at the Vietnam–India Business Forum on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of India-Vietnam diplomatic relationship. According to the currently available details, the airline will operate four flights between Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi every week starting in July-18.
The airline was founded by Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. She has a net-worth of $3.4 billion according to Forbes, and ranks as the second richest person in Vietnam. Apart from running the carrier, she also has investments in HD Bank and real estate including three beach resorts.
While Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has defended the marketing controversies of the company such as calendar and fashion shows saying that they are 'empowering images in Vietnam’s conservative culture,' the airline has attracted much negative publicity. According to a report, the airline had been fined £678.20 for risking air safety by organising in-flight beauty pageant.
The company has seen tremendous growth since 2011, and in the latest quarter, reported pre-tax profit of 4.76 trillion dong ($209.10 million) last year, up by a whopping 75.9 percent. According to a report, the company, has a fleet of 55 A320 and A321 aircraft, now operates 385 flights on 82 domestic and international routes.