VietJet, a low-cost Vietnamese airline, promised the Indonesian government that its flight attendants would be properly clothed during its flight to Jakarta. The carrier has recently launched a direct route from Chi Minh City to Jakarta.
VietJet did a controversial PR stunt in 2012 on the occasion of launching its operation between Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang. They hired five contestants in a local beauty contest to perform a bikini-clad dance in mid-flight.
That three-minute Hawaiian dance performance ignited much controversy at that time. The airline also had to pay a fine of 20 million Dong (approximately AUD$1,100) for arranging that in-flight entertainment without taking permission from Vietnam’s aviation authorities.
Photo Credit: The Sun
It seems that Indonesia, a conservative Muslim country, has a legitimate reason to be nervous about VietJet’s recent announcement. Nevertheless, Ibnu Hadi, the Indonesian ambassador in Vietnam, confirmed that the carrier’s flight attendants would be fully clothed not only on that route but also all flights to Indonesia. He also said that the bikini stunt was for just one flight only because it was the inaugural flight to a resort city.
According to Mr Hadi, the discussion about the opening of the routes to Jakarta had still been going on. He hoped that they could launch the flights before the end of 2017.
Jay L Lingeswara, the deputy director for commercial affairs of the airline, said that they use bikini-clad flight attendants only for specific events. He confirmed that their approach to the Indonesian market would be different.
Photo Credit: VietJet Air
The bikini stunt drew lots of criticism as people saw as a way to encouraging sexual harassment against women. However, the negative marketing was a blessing in disguise as the airline’s business boomed and its CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, became Vietnam’s first female billionaire.