A pre-prepared meal and a slightly dated movie is the best most aeroplane passengers can hope for, but a Vietnamese carrier has taken its entertainment offering to a stratospheric level by serving up a mid-air beauty pageant.
None of the male passengers appeared to be dashing for the emergency exits when a string of women in Hawaiian bikinis trooped through the cabin on the inaugural VietJetAir (VJA) flight from Ho Chi Minh City to the coastal holiday destination of Nha Trang.
Instead they reached for their phones to record the scantily-clad women, who had all been contestants in a local beauty contest, performing a three minute hip-shaking dance in front of them during the night flight last Friday.
However, the airline has now been fined after a video showing the unusual high-altitude antics was posted on YouTube and became a hit on social network sites. The Vietnam Aviation Authority has ordered the airline carrier to pay £600 (Rs 51,750).
Nguyen Trong Thang, chief inspector of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said he thought the airline made a serious error of judgement in giving the go ahead for the sky high show.
Thang said VJA got the fine for violating the local aviation regulations by organising an unapproved show on a plane. When asked if VJA had also violated aviation safety regulation for letting passengers use camera phones to record the three-minute show he said that because the phones were used in movie mode only, they did not affect flight safety.
A VietjetAir official offered a diplomatic response. He said, “It was the first flight to a beach town, so we came up with the idea of getting a number of girls in bikinis to dance and make passengers happy to improve our customer service. In addition, the plane had already reached its safe altitude before the time the show occurred,” he said. VJA hosted the bikini show, which was called a Hawaiian dance performance with the participation of contestants in the local beauty pageant, Miss Ngoi Sao.
Rs 51,750 The fine that VietJetAir, an airline that started in 2008, has to pay for allowing women to parade in bikinis and for allowing passengers to use their mobile phones