VietJet Apologizes For Putting Scantily Clad Models On Flight With Young Football Players


VietJet airlines is a Vietnamese low cost carrier that’s known for their “bikini” flight attendants. No, not all flights have flight attendants in bikinis, though the airline does release an annual bikini calendar of flight attendants.

Furthermore, for special occasions the airline sometimes has scantily clad models do a walk down the aisle inflight. They did this on a recent inaugural flight, for example.

Personally I’m not a fan of the way in which they objectify women, and I would find this to be incredibly uncomfortable (just like the time a dancer in Casablanca was shaking her breasts in my face for what felt like an uncomfortable eternity). However, I do think it’s worth noting that VietJet’s CEO is a woman, and many people disagree with me. If they thought on balance that this had a negative net effect, I’m sure they wouldn’t do it.

This brings us to the latest VietJet story, which frankly leaves me a bit confused. VietJet has apologized for this stunt, said it was an “improvised move,” and that it wasn’t a well thought out marketing strategy. They also said the relevant staff had been disciplined.

So, what happened? VietJet sent some scantily clad models onto a flight that otherwise had the country’s under-23 men’s football team onboard, after they lost. Per The Straits Times:

VietJet – best known for its bikini-clad air hostesses – came under fire for sending models in barely there costumes to join the footballers heading home from China, where the team suffered a 2-1 defeat after extra time by Uzbekistan in the Under-23 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship on Saturday (Jan 27).

“VietJet’s move was so rude, cheap, and offensive to the team, the fans and even its passengers,” Facebook user Nguyen My Linh wrote in a post that received 1,700 likes and more than 100 shares by midday on Monday.

Though the airline has grabbed headlines by staffing some of its inaugural flights with air hostesses in nothing more than bikinis, many online users said it was inappropriate to send the lingerie models to accompany the young men.

“It’s disgusting. I will boycott VietJet for this,” Le Nguyen, an office worker, told AFP on Monday.

Here’s a video of the models they sent on the flight:

I’m confused here. Let me say once again that I don’t like the way VietJet uses models, but that is something they consistently do, on inaugural and other special flights, and in their annual calendar.

With that in mind, I don’t really understand where the outrage comes from with this particular incident? It’s one thing if there were always uproar in Vietnam when VietJet pulled these stunts, but there generally isn’t. If they’re going to ever put scantily clad models on a flight, I feel like a flight full of young adult men would be the most appropriate time to do so, rather than inaugural flights with children, no?

The only logic I can come up with is that I imagine these football players are considered superstars in Vietnam, so maybe it’s like when tween celebrities are dating someone, and people automatically hate whoever they’re dating because they feel like they’re taking away “their” person. Perhaps the reaction here was similar.

Can anyone make sense of this — why is VietJet apologizing and reprimanding someone for this, when it’s something they do all the time?

(Tip of the hat to Jack)