This is why flying Vietjet is so controversially hot: But a Muslim country cut their flight short

The Vietnamese low-cost airline VietJet has a reputation for breeding controversy, but at times, there are limitations to this fast rising company’s campaign to capture a larger market share in Southeast Asia.

VietJet was the first in the travel industry to have their female flight attendants in nothing but two-piece bikinis. That started in way back in 2016.

But last year, the company promised that all flight attendants on their route from Ho Chi Minh City to Jakarta will be fully clothed after Indonesian authorities raised concerns.

The budget airline shot to prominence in 2012 when it hosted a mid-flight dance by bikini-clad beauty pageant contestants on a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to the coastal resort of Nha Thang in east Vietnam.

The airline was fined 20 million Dong, around US$880, for the unsanctioned PR stunt. It has since become synonymous with bikini-wearing flight stewards and regularly uses them in advertising campaigns.

But Indonesia, the nation with the largest Muslim population on earth, cut their steam off.

VietJet started flying in 2011 and flies to 53 destinations. Its CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, quickly became Vietnam’s first self-made female billionaire.

VietJet Air, is listed in Vietnam’s stock market, and with the initial public offering or IPO the company’s value soared to a massive US$1 billion.

Perhaps its reputation as a daring airline with the thinly clad air stewardesses will continue to follow the airline as it is now flying to at least 82 destinations half of which are international flights. As of Feb 1, VietJet carried over 17.1 million passengers in 2017.