|A Vietjet aircraft. — VNS File Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Affordable airline VietjetAir has received a fine of VNĐ44 million ($1,940) for the scandalous incident involving a lingerie show to ‘entertain’ the Vietnamese U23 football team on their way home after their sensational performance at the Asia Football Cup (AFC) championship.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAC) said Vietjet held the welcoming activities for the football team “without obtaining permission from the CAC.” The agency also noted that though Vietjet’s activities didn’t render the flight unsafe, they “potentially threatened safety,” which was the reason for the administrative fine of VNĐ40 million.
The agency also sought an administrative fine of VNĐ4 million ($176) against the flight’s chief stewardess for “neglecting to inform the captain” of the incident.
An official admonition had also been sent to the airline’s CEO as per the transport ministry’s regulations on handling violations of airway activities, the agency said.
Immediately after images of scantily-clad models on the chartered flight were circulated, social media erupted with criticism. The flight was bringing the much-lauded U23 team home from China’s Changzhou City on January 28, where the AFC Cup final was held.
On the same day, Vietjet Air’s CEO Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo sent her “sincere apologies to the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF), the Korean head coach Park Hang Seo, the U23 team, all the fans and people” for the improper event.
Thảo claimed that this was just an improvised stunt by the hired models which was not part of the original plan by the company, but drawn up by the flight logistics department, she wrote in a Facebook post.
Thảo said the airline’s leaders had learnt their lesson and the staff involved in the incident would be disciplined. — VNS