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An Airline Famous For Its Bikini Shows Is Planning an IPO

On Board A VietJet Air Flight And Ground Operations At Hanoi AirportOn Board A VietJet Air Flight And Ground Operations At Hanoi Airport
An employee walks under a VietJet Air aircraft at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi in 2014.Photograph by Brent Lewin—Bloomberg via Getty Images

VietJet, the low-cost carrier from Vietnam that has courted attention with its bikini-clad attendants, is reportedly looking to hold an initial public offering soon.

The IPO could be held as early as in the second quarter of this year, and is aiming for a $1 billion valuation, people close to the matter told Bloomberg. That could make the Vietnamese domestic carrier a power player in the region and more valuable than competitors AirAsia, PT Garuda Indonesia, or Thai Airways.

Launched in 2007, VietJet attracted attention when it showcased bikini-clad stewardesses on some of its flights. The carrier was issued a $1,000 fine by regulators for an “unapproved show” featuring women in string bikinis and company colors during a domestic flight.

The carrier has since embraced that image, asking 10 of its air hostesses to pose for a promotional ad campaign in similar garb:

VietJet is set to become the country’s largest domestic carrier, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation, and plans to expand across the world. “We plan to make VietJet a global airline,” company CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao told Bloomberg. “We look at Emirates, which came from a country with a small population and has become a global airline. We want to make VietJet the Emirates of Asia.”