Vietnamese airline Vietjet will pay customers up to $14,000 if they catch coronavirus while flying with them. The carrier, which is been at the centre of controversy in the past for stunts involving bikini-clad models, announced the payout as part of its new “Sky Covid Care” insurance scheme.
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The policy covers domestic flights in Vietnam between now and June 30 and applies to all eligible customers free of charge, regardless of nationality.
However, Australians won’t be eligible as they can’t fly in Vietnam because of the Australian government’s new overseas travel ban that comes into effect today.
Under the policy, if a passenger contracts coronavirus on a Vietjet flight, they will be eligible for up to 200 million Vietnamese dong, or $14,112.
“With the insurance, passengers are eligible for insurance coverage and benefits from Vietjet within 30 days starting at 00.01 of the flight date, regardless of how passengers are infected with the disease,” the airline said.
Vietjet said it’s allocated “tens of billion dong” to cover the scheme, which intends to “bring passengers assurance”, the Independent reports.
Passengers who have already tested positive to the virus and those who fail to follow safety regulations, such as self-isolation or travel bans, won’t be eligible. Neither will those passengers with epilepsy and mental illness, the airline said.
In 2018 Vietjet came under fire for parading scantily dressed models on a flight packed with Vietnam’s under-23 football squad returning from playing in the Asian Football Confederation in China.
Social media in the communist nation erupted after photos of the event were posted online, including a snap of an awkward-looking man being embraced by a woman in a low-cut top and red underwear, with his seat mate giggling.
It wasn’t the first time the airline was criticised for raunchy stunts — in 2012 Vietjet was fined 20 million dong ($1411) when it hosted a mid-flight dance by bikini-clad women.
Vietnam has 134 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday morning.