Virgin Atlantic names new plane in honour of Sir Richard Branson as 40th anniversary celebrations begin

ByTravelling For Business

March 25, 2024
Virgin Atlantic has initiated its 40th anniversary celebrations by unveiling a new aircraft featuring a name and icon in tribute to the airline's founder, Sir Richard Branson.Virgin Atlantic has initiated its 40th anniversary celebrations by unveiling a new aircraft featuring a name and icon in tribute to the airline's founder, Sir Richard Branson.

Virgin Atlantic has initiated its 40th anniversary celebrations by unveiling a new aircraft featuring a name and icon in tribute to the airline’s founder, Sir Richard Branson.

Established on June 22, 1984, with its inaugural flight between London and New York, Virgin Atlantic commemorates this milestone by naming its latest A330neo aircraft ‘Ruby Rebel’ as an homage to Sir Richard. Additionally, the airline has introduced a new icon, located towards the front of the aircraft, inspired by Sir Richard’s entrepreneurial spirit and Virgin Atlantic’s tradition of challenging norms.

The fifth A330neo, registered as G-VSRB, is scheduled to commence service in May. The newly introduced icon integrates elements from Sir Richard’s career and renowned ventures, featuring Virgin Records pin badges, a Tubular Bells charm bracelet, a Virgin Galactic rocket on the belt’s buckle, and a Virgin Voyages anchor on the boot.

Furthermore, the punk-inspired styling of the icon pays tribute to Virgin Atlantic’s iconic Vivienne Westwood uniform, still worn by its cabin crew today.

Virgin Atlantic introduced the icon series in 2019, replacing the previous Flying Lady motif, which drew inspiration from ship figureheads and Alberto Vargas’ pin-up girls.

Sir Richard Branson, reflecting on the news, remarked: “Virgin Atlantic was created to provide a bright red, fun, friendly, fabulous choice that made flying better for everyone. We worked out in 1984 all the things we could do differently, from our planes, our Clubhouses, our in-flight experience, and most importantly our people. Now, 40 years later, that rebellious spirit lives on and will continue to drive us forward as we shake up the aviation industry for the next 40 years and beyond.”