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F1 wager has Richard Branson in high heels on airline

The Virgin Atlantic boss is now set to serve passengers on an AirAsia flight, dressed in a stewardess uniform, after losing a Formula One bet with a fellow airline boss.

ABU DHABI // If you happen to be flying to London from Kuala Lumpur on AirAsia in the near future, beware the stewardess with the cheshire grin, goatee and hairy legs that offers to puff your pillow.

"She" is the product of a bizarre Formula One bet between Tony Fernandes, the group chief executive of the budget carrier AirAsia, and his more famous counterpart, Sir Richard Branson.

The two airline bosses placed a bet at the beginning of the 2010 Formula One championship, agreeing that the one whose racing team lost to the other would serve as a "stewardess" on the winner's airline.

The Virgin Atlantic boss is now set to serve passengers on an AirAsia flight, dressed in a stewardess uniform.

Yesterday, the AirAsia boss said his company would run an online charity auction for the seats on the Kuala Lumpur to London flight, where the UK billionaire is to appear wearing the red stewardess outfit.

"We have had this great bet running all season and now it's time for Richard to start preparing himself for some hard work, and the likely pain of a pair of high heels," Mr Fernandes said.

Mr Fernandes is the principal of the Malaysian-backed Lotus team, while Sir Richard is head of Virgin Racing. Both teams made their F1 debut this season.

Although the two teams completed the season with nil points on Sunday, Lotus placed ahead of Sir Richard's Virgin Racing in the rankings by virtue of better finishes throughout the season.

"The date of the flight will be announced soon and the aim is to raise as much money as we can for a good cause, so the discomfort Richard will go through is worth as much as it possibly can be," said Mr Fernandes.

 

vtodorova@thenational.ae

* With addiitional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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