Sir Richard Branson has what it takes to run an airline, but can he do it in high heels and a form-fitting red suit? This may just be the Virgin Atlantic head honcho’s new uniform when he shows up for his shift as Air Asia’s newest recruit.
If you fancy watching Branson totter down the aisle in high heels pushing a trolley loaded with snacks and drinks, then you may want to consider bidding for a seat on the Air Asia X Kuala Lumpur to London flight on February 21. You could find yourself being offered ‘Coffee, tea or me?’ by the richest air hostess on earth – airline owner Sir Richard Branson.
The Virgin Atlantic founder is to dress up as a flight attendant after he lost a bet over which team would fare better in the last Formula 1 season.
Branson, who owns the Virgin Racing Team, had bet that his team would do better than the Lotus Racing team of Air Asia’s owner Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.
Fernandes, the Lotus Racing team principal, had challenged Branson to dress up as a flight attendant and serve on AirAsia if the tycoon’s Virgin Racing ended the season behind Lotus.
Branson accepted, on condition that Fernandes would do the same on Virgin Atlantic’s London-Lagos route if the AirAsia boss lost.
Despite both teams failing to score any championship points throughout the season, Malaysian-backed Lotus Racing finished ahead of Virgin Racing in all but two races (in Italy and Singapore).
After the season’s final race at the sensational Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, Lotus finished in 10th spot while Virgin finished last among the 12 teams in the overall team rankings, which means Branson has lost his bet.
“Branson will have to serve and even clean the toilets throughout the flight while wearing the high heels and the red AirAsia stewardess uniform,” Fernandes said.
“We want him to shave his legs. We are going to try and get him to shave his legs and wear some make-up. But we will leave his moustache alone as it is his trademark,” Fernandes said.
Branson, who has already received his AirAsia badge and uniform for the Kuala Lumpur-London charity flight on AirAsia, has been a good sport about the whole deal, added Fernandes.
Seats on the special AirAsia Kuala Lumpur to London flight will be auctioned off soon, with the proceeds going to charity. The charity will be chosen by Branson.
Fernandes said: “It’s time for Richard to start preparing himself for some hard work … and the likely pain of a pair of high heels!”
“We have agreed that we will run an online charity auction for the seats on the route to raise money for a charity of Richard’s choice and give fans of both teams the chance to be on the flight.
“The aim is to raise as much money as we can for a good cause … So the discomfort Richard will have to go through will be worth as much as it possibly can be.”