Bikini Airline Orders 100 Boeing 737 MAX Planes

VietJet’s CEO became Southeast Asia’s first self-made female billionaire. The airline is a discount carrier flying narrowbody aircraft mostly domestically although with several routes now into Asia.

Five years ago the airline was fined 20 million Dong over unapproved inflight entertainment. It wasn’t a problem with the installation of a seatback video system. Instead, 5 bikini-clad candidates in a local beauty contest performed a dance onboard the airline’s inaugural flight to Nha Trang.

Since the 3-minute show had not been approved in advance, it was deemed a violation of aviation and security regulations. And the airline was fine — the equivalent of $959.

Since then they’ve branded themselves the bikini airline. And the airline’s CEO sees the campaigns and onboard stunts as empowering. Vietnam has a very conservative culture, and the public bikini stunts rebel against traditional notions of female dress in that society.

Although when they start service to some Islamic destinations they have to promise those governments that their flight attendants will be fully clothed.


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VietJet has just placed an order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, 80 737 MAX 10s and 20 737 MAX 8s, list price on the aircraft is $12.7 billion but assume they aren’t paying more than about half that. In addition the deal includes Boeing support for VietJet engineering and pilot and maintenance training as well as airline management.

This deal is on top of the airline’s order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2016. They currently operate 55 Airbus narrowbodies with 79 more on order.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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