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Vietnam's VietJet Aviation said Thursday it was standing by a controversial "bikini" calendar, a marketing ploy featuring scantily clad female models that has prompted criticism in conservative Southeast Asia and beyond. The annual calendar, which has gone viral online, is part of a broader marketing push by VietJet that has propelled the startup airline's rapid growth, as it has taken market share from Vietnam Airlines.VietJet, founded by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao – Vietnam's first female billionaire and one of a handful of women running a major airline globally – said the calendar emphasized free choice of people to wear whatever they wanted.VietJet is not the first firm to use racy calendars to raise its profile.
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