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Virgin Atlantic is replacing its Flying Lady


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It’s farewell to the Flying Lady as Virgin Atlantic reveals new ‘Flying Icons’, which will adorn the brand new fleet of aircraft.

Say hello to the new faces of Virgin Atlantic

Say hello to the new Virgin Atlantic flying icons. Coming to our A350-1000 aircraft soon. ❤️The high flyers are a diverse range of men and women representing modern Britain, coming to four brand new A350-1000 aircraft this year, followed by a further eight by 2021. ✈️Read more on Ruby: https://virg.in/FlyingIcons

Posted by Virgin Atlantic on Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The new high flyers are a diverse range of men and women, representing modern Britain. They will appear on the four brand new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft the airline is introducing this year, followed by a further eight aircraft by 2021.

The Flying Lady, who has decorated Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft for more than 30 years, is based on the pin-up girls made famous in the 1930s and 1940s by Alberto Vargas. But the airline wants the new imagery to reflect the diversity of Britain today.

Virgin Atlantic has pledged to tackle its gender pay gap and increase diversity and inclusion across its business. The airline aims to have a 50:50 gender balance in leadership roles. They’re also aiming for at least 12 per cent black, Asian and minority ethnic group representation across the company by 2022.


Image from Virgin Atlantic

“The saying goes ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and that has never been truer than the aviation industry’s glamourous image in the past,” Nikki Humphrey, senior vice president of people at Virgin Atlantic, said.

“We have been working for a number of years to tackle our gender pay gap, create an inclusive workplace and increase the diversity of our workforce, through the development of our Springboard scheme for women, as well as the launch of engineering apprenticeships. By introducing our new Flying Icons I hope it encourages people from all backgrounds to feel at home flying with us, but also working with us.”


Image from Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was a founding signatory of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace charter in 2018 as well as a signatory of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure charter (of which Nikki Humphrey sits on the board). Virgin Atlantic has also ensured greater diversity with their engineering apprenticeship and pilot cadet schemes and has developed a Springboard Network which aims to help women in junior roles develop clear career pathways to become senior leaders.

Read more about how Virgin Atlantic chooses the liveries for its planes.

Jeanette Briedenhann
Jeanette Briedenhann
Jeanette Phillips joined the team in 2016. She developed a passion and love for all things-travel related in her role as travel journalist, a position she held for over seven years. A brief exodus into the corporate marketing sphere proved that there is no better industry than the travel industry. Research and writing are two of Jeanette’s greatest passions, but she is always open to new challenges and different ways of doing things.

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