He might be one of the most powerful men in the world, but Sir Richard Branson was the brunt of a thousand jokes on Saturday night as he donned a skirt and a full face of make-up on a flight to Malaysia.
The billionaire entrepreneur swapped his boxer shorts for a pair of stockings after losing a Grand Prix bet with AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandez two years ago. The Virgin boss – who even shaved his legs for the flight – served drinks and pledged to clean the toilets on the special flight – all while sporting the red AirAsia uniform, which included a skirt suit and crisp white shirt.
Pucker up! Richard Branson wore a full face of make-up for a flight to Malaysia after losing a bet to AirAsia chief Tony Fernandez
Pulling his blonde locks back into clips, Branson completed his fresh new look with a sweep of red lipstick and a fetching set of false eyelashes. Putting on a brave face, the 62-year-old finally made good on the bet that he lost two years ago – after being too busy to see it through any earlier.
‘We both had Grand Prix teams and I was absolutely certain that I was going to win,’ said the businessman. ‘Something went wrong. Of course the drivers of that race are no longer with us. ‘I went to extreme lengths to avoid being here, but knew that one day I had to get it over with,’ he added. The funds from the flight went to the Starlight Foundation for ill children, but as to how far Sir Richard would go for charity, he said he’d keep his famous beard.
Suits you sir! The entrepreneur donned a red skirt suit for the special 6-hour flight
The jokes on you! AirAsia chief Fernandez was more than happy to pose up with Branson, who finally made good on the bet after two years
‘Have you not seen a stewardess with a beard before?,’ he asked before boarding the six hour flight.
Malaysian-born Fernandes, who described the Briton as his mentor, used to work for Branson before setting up his own budget airline. ‘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,’ said the airline chief.
Celebrations: The billionaire was doused in champagne after finally completing his side of the bet
‘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 6-hour Perth to Kuala Lumpur flight.’
Tweeting before the flight, he wrote: ‘Anyone want a free flight up to Kuala Lumpur and be served by Richard Branson who lives in Perth. I got 2 to give.’ ‘I’ve done some outrageous things in my time but this will be up there with the best of them,’ Branson added before he boarded. ‘I’ve just got to practice walking in high heels first’.
Here come the girls: Branson joined a number of other AirAsia stewardesses