Vietnam-based budget airline VietJet popularly known as “bikini airline” will soon start direct flight operations to India. The budget carrier will operate four flights between Vietnam’s capital Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi every week starting between July and August 2018.
VietJet announced it’s plan to connect India at the Vietnam–India Business Forum on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of India-Vietnam diplomatic relationship and the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two Asian countries.
The budget carrier earned the sobriquet of “bikini airline” in 2012 after it started to publish an annual calendar featuring bikini-clad models dressed as flight attendants, pilots and ground staff.
However, the move generated a lot of controversies but also ensured that the airline became known across the world. The budget carrier has also organised fashion shown abroad its flights featuring swimsuit-clad models and beauty pageant contestants.
Due to the unusual uniform, VietJet gained popularity in no time, making its Founder and Chief Executive Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao to become Vietnam’s first woman billionaire.
Meanwhile, the budget airline was fined for risking air safety by organising such shows mid-air, it did not mend its ways and continued to do such shows. Vietjet founder and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao defended the calendar and fashion shows claims that they are “empowering images in Vietnam’s conservative culture”.
Currently, the Vietnamese budget airline serves destinations across Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Myanmar, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The airline has a fleet of A320s and A321s. The airline was named as one of the Top 500 Brands in Asia 2016 and “The Best Asian Low-Cost Carrier” at the TTG Travel Awards 2015.