Vietjet Air has achieved brand recognition with one of the crudest marketing ploys in business: using scantily clad women to attract attention. Its stewardesses have worn bikinis on some flights, and the airline publishes calendars of models wearing lingerie in the company's colors, red and yellow. The criticism that inevitably follows only helps to promote the brand even more.
But behind the gimmicks is a fast-growing and savvy young airline. Since its first commercial flight in December 2011, Vietjet has become Vietnam's second-largest airline, accounting for more than 40% of the domestic market share, and it has carried some 50 million passengers. This rapid growth has made founder Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, 47, Vietnam's first female billionaire.