News Column

Branson Dresses as Stewardess, Serves Drinks on AirAsia Flight

May 13, 2013

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson dressed like an air hostess and served passengers on a flight after losing a bet to AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes over their Formula I motor racing teams.

Branson performed the duties of a regular stewardess, including serving Fernandes and other passengers with refreshments during a special flight of AirAsia from Perth to the Malaysian capital.

Branson, in red-hot AirAsia stewardess uniform and black stockings, was flanked by Fernandes and passengers as he departed from the plane after more than four-hour trip.

"Richard Branson's career in AirAsia is off to a good start ... until he spilt the tray on Tony Fernandes," AirAsia tweeted.

Fernandes told reporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport that he had to strip down to his undershorts for a while after Branson tipped a tray full of orange juice on him.

"I looked at him and said don't you dare," said Fernandes, laughing.

Fernandes added he immediately "fired" Branson upon landing, and gave him a certificate to recognize that he had "graduated" as an AirAsia stewardess.

Some of the ticket sales and bar bills on the flight will go to children's charity the Starlight Foundation.

Fernandes, who described the 62-year-old Briton as his mentor, used to work for Branson before setting up his own budget airline.

Two years ago the pair agreed that whoever backed the slower Formula I motor racing team would dress in drag and serve drinks on the other's airline.

"We both had Grand Prix teams and I was absolutely certain that I was going to win," Branson said. "Something went wrong. Of course, the drivers of that race are no longer with us."

Paying the penalty took so long because of business commitments, a broken leg and arranging schedules for the Perth-Kuala Lumpur flight, he said.

"I went to extreme lengths to avoid being here but knew that one day I had to get it over with," Branson said.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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