Vietnam carrier fined for bikini show on flight

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A bikini show held on a VietJet Air flight on August 3 has been found illegal and the carrier has been fined.

Vietnam's budget carrier VietJet Air has been fined VND20 million (US$951) for organizing a bikini show on a domestic flight last week.

A Dan Tri report Wednesday quoted Nguyen Trong Thang, chief inspector of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, as saying VietJet Air had organized the show, named Vu dieu Hawaii (Hawaii dance), on its first flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang Town on August 3 without license.

Moreover, the show, which was performed by flight attendants and some contestants of the beauty contest Miss Ngoi Sao (Star) 2012, did not fall within the carrier's licensed business activities, Thang said.

Dan Tri said aviation authorities made the move after the clips of the show recorded by passengers with their mobile phones were posted online.

Many people said it was "fresh" and "unique," while others bashed it, saying it was against Vietnamese tradition and values. Some even expressed concerns over flight safety, given that many passengers used their mobile phone during the flight.

Asked about the safety concern, Thang said authorities' inspection concluded that passengers used mobile phones which were set at flight mode when the airplane had reached a safe and stable height.

A VietJet Air representative was quote in the report as saying the show took just a few minutes after the airplane had reached a safe height and was held in "allowable" conditions. "Everything was strictly in accordance with aviation authorities' safety regulations."

The fine was "a bit strict," the representative said, because the show was just one of the services that the carrier planned to entertain passengers.

Since the laws were "general," and did not mention if such a show was banned or not, "it was not totally right to say that carrier did not ask for a license."

Moreover, VietJet Air did not know what it had to do to get a license for shows held to entertain the passengers, the representative said.

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