Airline promises to pay passengers £7k if they catch coronavirus on flights

A controversial airline has announced it will pay customers up to £7,000 if they catch coronavirus while flying with them.

Vietnamese carrier Vietjet has introduced its new "Sky Covid Care" insurance scheme as a way of protecting customers during the current global pandemic.

Under the policy, if a passenger contracts COVID-19 while travelling on a Vietjet flight, they will be eligible for a payout of up to 200 million Vietnamese dong (£7,085).

The payout is applicable for all domestic flights in Vietnam between now and June 30, and applies to all eligible customers free of charge and regardless of their nationality.

"With the insurance, passengers are eligible for insurance coverage and benefits from Vietjet within 30 days starting at 00.01 of the flight date, regardless of how passengers are infected with the disease," the airline said in a statement.

Vietjet has reportedly allocated "tens of billion dong" to cover the scheme, which intends to "bring passengers assurance".

Any passengers who have already tested positive to the virus and those who fail to follow recommended safety regulations, such as self-isolation or travel bans, will not be eligible for the payout.

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Passengers with epilepsy or mental illness are also not eligible for the scheme.

As of Wednesday, Vietnam has 134 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Two weeks ago the country restricted entry for British and other European nationals.

In 2018, Vietjet was criticised for sending lingerie-clad models on a flight with Vietnam's under-23 football squad on their return from the Asian Football Confederation in China.

Earlier, in 2012, the airline also came under fire for hosting a Hawaiian-themed dance in which women wearing bikinis performed for passengers in the middle of a flight.

Officials fined Vietjet 20 million dong (£722) for the sexy stunt, which was found to have violated airline safety regulations as well as shocking many in the conservative communist nation.

Airlines across the world are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic as many countries close their borders and issue travel bans, having a major impact on business.

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