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Big order and Aussie flights for Vietnam bikini airline

November 9, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Vietnam’s largest budget airline, known for using attractive young female flight attendants in bikinis to draw customers, has ordered an additional 50 A321neo single-aisle aircraft from manufacturer Airbus and will fly to Darwin and Brisbane next year.

Vietjet’s president and chief executive is the famous Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao – Vietnam’s first female billionaire. She signed the USD 6.5-billion aircraft purchase agreement in Hanoi this week with Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer.

On the same day, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with engine manufacturer CFM International for purchase and long-service maintenance of LEAP-1B high-bypass turbofan jet engines. That deal is worth USD 5.3 billion.

CFM International is a 50-50 joint venture company between GE Aviation of the US and Safran Aircraft Engines (formerly known as Snecma) of France.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has already confirmed that Vietjet Air will fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Brisbane from 2019. She said the deal would make Queensland Vietjet Air’s first destination in Australia.

Darwin may beat Brisbane to the punch – with the NT News reporting that Vietjet will fly direct to Darwin from Ho Chi Minh City from next year. The paper sourced the report to one of the country’s deputy prime ministers speaking through a translator in Hanoi ahead of the MOU signing.

Nhan Dan, the Central Organ of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam, reported that the signings were witnessed by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam and Edouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France, during his official visit to Vietnam.

The USD 6.5-billion purchase agreement was signed in Hanoi by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietjet’s president and chief executive (second from right) and Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer.

It’s only a year since Vietjet was in hot water with Vietnamese authorities over an in-flight “improvised performance” by scantily clad flight attendants in frilly underwear, feathers and sequins.

The stunt, in which some attendants wore bikinis embellished with frills and at least one other wore a more elaborate outfit with a headdress and frilly underwear, was apparently arranged on the spot to welcome home Vietnam’s Under-23 national men’s soccer team – even though the team was soundly beaten by Uzbekistan in the tournament in China.

Vietjet’s flight attendants do not wear bikinis on duty, only on special occasions.

The regular Vietjet Air uniform does not include bikinis

Written by Peter Needham

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