The Vietnamese “bikini airline” just put in an $11 billion order with Boeing for a hundred 737 MAX 200 airplanes.
VietJet, a low-cost 5-year-old airline, has gained a lot of publicity in the past for its bikini-clad flight attendants who have appeared in their in-flight lingerie and Hawaiian-themed shows. The airline now has nearly 40% of Vietnam’s domestic airline market.
President Barack Obama, who paid a visit to Vietnam this week, was present during the signing of the deal along with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, VietJet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner.
The deal is valued at $11.3 billion, according to current listed prices. It’s possible that VietJet had a discount of up to 50% off the list prices of the planes, which are expected to be delivered between 2019 and 2023.
The Boeing aircraft order is significant in Vietnam since Airbus has always had a prominent presence in the country. VietJet and Vietnam’s other major airlines have primarily operated an all-Airbus fleet.
VietJets’ CEO is on her way to becoming Vietnam’s first female billionaire when the privately-owned airline goes public. The company is expected to hold an IPO as early as the second quarter of 2016.