Tourism Ministry teases possibility of ‘bikini airline’ Vietjet Air opening route to Indonesia

Vietjet Air flight attendants donning their bikini uniforms. Photo: Vietjet Air

There’s arguably no airline as talked about in Southeast Asia right now than Vietnam’s low-cost carrier Vietjet Air, which caught the world’s attention largely thanks to its occasional bikini PR stunts.

But would such controversial stunts fly in Indonesia, or are bikini-clad flight attendants too offensive for the country’s conservative sensibilities?

Yesterday, Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry posted a press release on their official Instagram page announcing the possibility that Vietjet would add a couple of routes to Indonesia, specifically Jakarta and Bali by mid-2017.

Pertengahan 2017, VietJet Siap Jelajahi Langit Indonesia HO CHI MINH – Sales Mission yang digelar Kemenpar di Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Senin (3/4) serta Hanoi, Rabu (5/4), sudah digeber total. Hasilnya? Ada semangat Indonesia Incorporated yang terbangun. Konjen RI untuk Ho Chi Minh, Jean Anes, ikutan gabung membantu pariwisata. Actionnya, mengawal penjajakan kerjasama dengan VietJet Air agar membuka rute Ho Chi Minh – Jakarta. “Dari aspirasi warga Ho Chi Minh dan sejumlah travel agent yang ada, mereka ingin menuju obyek wisata Indonesia dengan penerbangan langsung. Sampai saat ini belum ada pesawat yang melayani penerbangan dari Vietnam langsung ke lokasi wisata,” terang Konjen RI untuk Ho Chi Minh, Jean Anes, Rabu (5/4). Tak ingin menyia-nyiakan waktu, Jean pun ikut mendorong salah satu maskapai Vietnam, VietJet untuk terbang ke Indonesia. Rencananya, penerbangan perdana untuk rute itu akan dimulai pada pertengahan tahun ini. "Pertengahan tahun ini VietJet akan terbang dari Ho Chi Minh ke Jakarta, sebagai uji coba," kata Jean. Jean melanjutkan, VietJet nantinya tak hanya membuka rute Ho Chi Minh-Jakarta, tetapi juga Ho Chi Minh-Bali. Namun, untuk rute yang kedua itu akan dibuka setelah mengkaji pelaksanaan rute Ho Chi Minh-Jakarta. “Warga Ho Chi Minh dan sejumlah travel agent yang ada maunya satu. Mereka ingin menuju obyek wisata Indonesia dengan penerbangan langsung. Bukan transit ke Jakarta seperti selama ini. Terlalu lama dan berbiaya mahal jika ke Bali atau Jogja harus mampir Jakarta dulu. Sebab sampai saat ini belum ada pesawat yang melayani penerbangan dari Vietnam langsung ke lokasi wisata,” ungkapnya. Konektivitas udara memang menjadi kendala kedua negara. Sebab saat ini, hanya ada satu penerbangan dengan rute Ho Chi Minh – Jakarta (PP) yang dijalankan maskapai Vietnam Airlines. Sehari satu kali penerbangan. Maskapai lain baru bisa melayani dengan transit Malaysia, Singapura, Thailand, Brunei. selengkapnya klik link di bio kami ya sobat wisata.. #wonderfulindonesia

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However, an official at the Transportation Ministry said that Vietjet has not yet filed an application with them to open any routes to Indonesia. As for their flight attendants’ famous uniforms, well, those eager to catch a glimpse probably shouldn’t get their hopes up.

“If we look at the way stewardesses dress [in Indonesia], they’re polite and inoffensive. So if the airline gets a permit [to fly to Indonesia], they have to follow the rules that apply here,” said Agus Soebagio, head of the Public Relations Division at the Transport Ministry’s Aviation Directorate General, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.

Also, despite their extensive use in the airline’s highly effective marketing campaigns, since Vietjet Air launched in 2011 the company has only occasionally had their stewardesses don their trademark red bikinis for special events such as inaugural flights to beach destinations and on their company calendars. The PR stunts have undoubtedly proved fruitful for the low-cost carrier, which is projected to take over the majority of Vietnam’s airline market share in the near future, and has already made its CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the first female billionaire in the country.

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