The Mastermind Behind This Bikini Airline Has Become Vietnam’s First Female Billionaire

Bikinis are some of the most glorious items of ‘clothing’ to have ever been invented.

Somehow, in a world where even the most liberal of countries are still shocked by nudity, it is socially acceptable to wear a thin piece of fabric that barely covers the most sexualized parts of a woman; her breasts and her privates.

Yes, it’s true that they are (usually) only worn when it’s hot and that it’s still frowned upon to wear them without being in a reachable distance of a pool or a beach. However, there’s no denying that their primary function is not to keep the heat at bay, but rather to show off your assets, oozing sex appeal in the process.

I mean, aside from lingerie, there are few items of clothing that are sexier than a skimpy, little bikini. And if you feel like you’ve got it, why not flaunt it?

The appeal of bikinis is such that businesses have made insane amounts of money by using images of women in bikinis.

For instance, Sports Illustrated had absolutely no qualms about potentially undermining their image of being a legit sports magazine about, you know, sports, when they launched the annual Swimsuit Issue featuring some of the world’s hottest models.

At just 26 years old, Kate Upton is a Sports Illustrated veteran. Check out one of her sultriest bikini shoots:

Bikinis are a huge money maker pure and simple. They certainly did wonders for Vietnam’s very first female billionaire and her bank balance.

The billionaire in question is Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. She is a hugely successful Vietnamese entrepreneur and is, in fact, one of the wealthiest people on the planet.

Thao owns her own airline, VietJet Air, and was the mastermind behind the ingenious idea of including flights where the cabin crew serves their passengers dressed entirely in bikinis.

Take a look at the bikini-clad flight attendants in action:

Thao actually made her first million when she was only 21 years old through trading fax machines and latex rubber. However, the real money maker for her was the decision to enforce a uniform policy in which flight attendants occasionally wear overtly seductive outfits.

The company, which was launched back in 2007, is Vietnam’s only privately-owned airline and is soon to go public. This will add to Thao’s already immense $1.37 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In just a few years, this very provocative airline, whose new motto is ‘Enjoy Flying!’, has snagged itself over 30 percent of the airline market share in Vietnam.

In another stroke of genius, Thao managed to boost profits even further by publishing very titillating calendars in which attractive, scantily models pose as flight attendants, pilots, and ground staff.

This was also used as a marketing tool for Viet Jet Air, which usually flies to resort destinations in Vietnam and the surrounding areas. The airline is now planning to launch a new flight route from Vietnam to India.

It is believed Viet Jet Air, known for being a budget airline, could soon become even more successful than the country’s main airline, Vietnam Airlines.


In fact, when the airline rose to fame in 2011 following ad campaigns featuring women dressed in bikinis, its image almost immediately changed from a low-cost airline to a ‘bikini airline’, attracting plenty more passengers.

Vietnam may have an airline with a bikini-clad staff, but Seattle has so-called bikini barista cafes:

There are currently no plans to connect to the US, so passengers who would like to see the scantily clad flight attendants firsthand will need to head to Vietnam to do so.

This certainly isn’t the first time women in bikinis have tried their hand at the cabin crew profession. In fact, in China, thousands of women took part in a beauty pageant in Qingdao with the intention of becoming flight attendants.

They could then potentially score the chance of becoming the “Face of Oriental Beauty”. Applicants were only eligible if they were at least five-foot-six-inches in height. It was also said they must be “elegant, slim, have a sweet voice and have no scars in the exposed part of their skin”.

Thao has argued against any suggestion that her company is old-fashioned and outdated. It should also be noted that not all the airline’s flights have stewardesses dressed entirely in bikinis, in fact, they are only worn on some special flights.

“You have the right to wear anything you like, either the bikini or the traditional ao dai,” she said in reference to the traditional Vietnamese shirts worn over the pants. “We don’t mind people associating the airline with the bikini image. If that makes people happy, then we are happy.”

I mean, with a billion in the bank, I’d be absolutely ecstatic.

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