Dressing Up Flight Attendants In Swimsuits Made This CEO A Billionaire

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Is dressing up employees as lingerie models the secret to become a billionaire in Vietnam? It appears so.

A Vietnamese woman became the first female self-made billionaire of South East Asia — by launching a “bikini airline.”

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, CEO of Vietnamese carrier VietJet Air, attained the new status late this March after staffing her airline with bikini-clad flight attendants.

Although Thao made her first million at the age of 21 selling fax machines and latex rubber, the dice really started rolling in for her when she launched the airline with a unique dress code for the flight attendants. In just a few years, the Vietnam native was able to secure 30% of the company share.

Interestingly, Thao insists the uniform empowers women in Vietnam, a country known for its conservative stance about females.

"You have the right to wear anything you like, either the bikini or the traditional ao dai," she told Bloomberg, referring to the traditional long tunic worn over loose pants. "We don’t mind people associating the airline with the bikini image. If that makes people happy, then we are happy. As a businesswoman, I have a responsibility to contribute to the economy and to push for positive changes of the country and in the society, in light of the international integration that's happening."

Read More: This Airline Barred A Female Passenger For Her 'Inappropriate' Dress

Ironically, the company not only profits from its air tickets, but also from its titillating calendars featuring scantily clad models in various provocative poses.

The internet slammed the VietJet for objectifying women after one of its models leaked some images from a promotional photo shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

In 2012, the airline was slapped a fine of $1,000 by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam for holding an unapproved Hawaiian dance show in-flight while the plane was at cruising altitude.

Apparently, putting models in less-than-modest clothes is fast becoming a trend in east Asia. A few months ago, China came under fire for forcing its flight attendants to sport a swimsuit and strut on the catwalk for an annual photo shoot.

VietJet is planning to go global in the next three months. Let’s see what all the world has to say about that.

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