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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Date's Set: Richard Branson Dresses in Drag on Special May 12 Flight

He’s known for his unabashed publicity stunts but Sir Richard Branson’s latest escapade could leave him a little red-faced. The Virgin boss has finally agreed a date to serve as an air hostess on rival airline AirAsia X after losing a bet with the company’s owner.



Branson, who owns Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Racing Formula One team, had a wager with AirAsia X and Lotus Racing boss Tony Fernandes over whose team would finish highest in the 2010 racing championships.

The two airline bosses agreed that whoever lost the bet would have to dress up as an air hostess, serving champagne to guests on the other owner's airline.

Both teams completed the season with zero points, but Fernandes' Lotus F1 team was placed ahead of Branson's Virgin Racing after it secured better race finishing positions.

Now, after two years, a date has finally been set for Branson to fulfill the wager. The billionaire businessman has agreed to serve passengers on board AirAsia X’s flight D7 237 from Perth to Kuala Lumpur on May 12. Sir Richard, 62, will be required to wear AirAsia X's regulation red stewardess outfit, along with make-up and high-heels.



Hair-raising: AirAsia X has produced a mock-up of how Branson might look when he reports for duty

Mr Fernandes said Branson would also have to shave his legs as AirAsia X does not permit "hairy stewardesses". He will, however, be able to keep his beard. The Virgin boss will be expected to perform regular duties on the flight, including cleaning the toilets.

"The day of reckoning for Sir Richard has finally arrived," Fernandes said.

Mr Fernandes, a 48-year-old Malaysian businessman, worked for Branson's Virgin Atlantic as a financial controller in the late 1980s.

"Both Richard and I have come full circle and who would have thought my mentor will be serving as a flight attendant on AirAsia. "As an AirAsia X’s flight attendant, he has to comply with our grooming standards and that includes shaving his legs, donning high heels, putting on some makeup and slipping into the AirAsia’s famous red uniform," he added.

"He will be committed to carry out the responsibilities of a flight attendant, including offering coffee, tea and other food and beverages to guests on the special six-hour Perth to Kuala Lumpur flight," Fernandes said. Sir Richard said: "I’ve done some outrageous things in my time but this will be up there with the best of them. "Tony won our bet fair and square and I’m a man of my word - so I will dress up and make a splash in the name of Starlight, a fantastic charity. I’ve just got to practice walking in high heels first."

Tickets for the flight can be booked online at www.airasia.com from April 8 to May 12 (or until seats are sold out).

Fares will cost from AUD399 (£270) one way, and AUD100 from each sale will be donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Australia. The airline will also donate 10 per cent of all in-flight sales, including duty-free merchandise sold on board the flight, to the foundation.

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Live to love and love to live. The motto that I held on my entire life. Just a regular guy who loves what I am passionate in life. A song writer and producer. Living life on the move. From Malaysia to The States, New Zealand to Singapore. With the companion of great people in life. In and out from the music industry. Taking everything one step at a time. 
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