Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson will finally honour a longstanding with fellow airline mogul Tony Fernandes, when he dons a full stewardess regalia on an AirAsia X airlines flight between Australia and Malaysia next month.
The bet came about at the end of the 2010 Formula 1 season, when Fernandes’ then-named Lotus Racing team beat Branson’s Virgin Racing outfit in the Constructors’ Championship standings. The owner of the losing team had agreed to dress as a female flight attendant on the other’s airline.
While neither team scored a point in their maiden Formula 1 season, Lotus Racing beat Virgin Racing on countback.
Branson was scheduled to do the deed in 2011, but he suffered
stage fright a knee injury in a skiing accident that ruled him out of wearing the regulatory high heels demanded in the AirAsia uniform.
His knee now having finally healed, the billionaire entrepreneur’s “day of reckoning” has now arrived, boasts Fernandes, whose F1 team is now known as Caterham.
“Both Richard and I have come full circle and who would have thought my mentor will be serving as a flight attendant on AirAsia.
“It’s an awkward moment when you go down memory lane and recall the times I used to work for Richard. And it’s hilarious to think now, that it’s Richard who will be working for me as a sassy flight attendant.”
Branson’s duties will include serving the needs of all of the flight’s passengers, along with food and beverage service.
It is unknown whether one of the earlier terms of the deal – that being allowing the passengers to bid to shave Branson’s legs midflight – will still be honoured, although there will no doubt be a host of initiatives to raise funds for the flight’s nominated charity, the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Tickets for the flight – AirAsia X 237, departing Perth at 12:30PM local time – are on sale for AUD$399 one way. Over a quarter of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.