In wake of criticism, Vietnam low-cost carrier says viral bikini photos not official

Thanh Nien News

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An executive of low-cost carrier VietJet Air has denied that a series of photos featuring models in skimpy bikinis were official photos of the carrier’s next advertising campaign.
Vu Pham Nguyen Tung, the carrier’s development director, told Thanh Nien the photos were taken during a trial photo shooting for VietJet Air.
He said VietJet Air signed a contract with Venus, a popular Vietnamese modeling agency, to shoot photos for the carrier’s advertising campaign. Ten models took part in the shooting, Tung said.
“We have yet to decide if we will use these photos or not,” he said.
He also denied that the leakage of the photos was just a "PR ploy" employed by VietJet Air.
On Thursday night, VietJet Air sparked a storm of criticism after Ngoc Trinh, a famous lingerie model, posted on her Facebook page photos allegedly shot on the same day to serve VietJet Air’s next promotional campaign, in which all models wear only skimpy two-piece swimsuits.
In one of the photos, nine models are shown wearing sexy bikinis in yellow and red – the airline’s traditional colors – and forming a V formation in front of a VietJet Air plane.
In another picture, two models, still wearing bikinis, pose as they open the luggage compartment aboard an aircraft.
Trinh also captioned her photo album: “Just finished shooting promo photos for VietJet Air for 12 hours nonstop from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.”
The photos have gone viral on Facebook and attracted mostly negative reviews, with many slamming VietJet Air for using erotic photos that objectify women to build its image.
The photos were removed from Trinh’s Facebook page around Friday noon.
In 2012, VietJet Air was fined VND20 million (US$950) by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam for having its flight attendants perform a Hawaii dance in bikinis on its inauguration flight between Ho Chi Minh City and the coastal resort town of Nha Trang.
Last May the carrier again used bikini dancers to celebrate the launch of HCMC-Singapore route.

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