Airlines like Air New Zelanad and RyanAir have come under fire for their less-than-family friendly promotions, but the Vietnamese low-cost carrier, VietJetAir, is facing backlash over racy publicity photos that weren't part of an official ad campaign.
Ngoc Trinh, a Vietnamese lingerie model, recently posted pictures of herself along with other women wearing skimpy bikinis in the VietJetAir’s colors to her Facebook page, according to the Daily Mail.
They were allegedly captioned: “Just finished shooting promo photos for VietJet Air for 12 hours nonstop from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.”
— Saigoneer (@Saigoneer) September 22, 2014
The models in the photos can be seen stuffing overhead bins and waving sparklers. The images quickly went viral on Facebook, and users began postings negative comments, blasting VietJetAir for objectifying women to sell tickets. The photos have since been removed from Trinh’s page.
But the airline has claimed the photos are not a part of an official advertising campaign. Vu Pham Nguyen Tung, the development director for the airline, told Vietnam’s Thanh Nien News that the photos were just for a trial shoot and that the carrier had not decided whether or not they will use the photos.
Tung also denied the release was a PR stunt to gain attention for the airline.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) September 23, 2014
While VietJetAir is not the first airline to come under fire for controversial marketing campaigns, it has, in the past, been criticized for its treatment of women.
The airline was fined $1,000 by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam after its flights attendants performed a Hawaiian dance in bikinis during an inaugural flight from Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang, a coastal resort town in Vietnam.
The airline's YouTube channel also features several videos of women dressed in the bikinis dancing suggestively in airplane aisles.