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Virgin Atlantic Swaps Flying Lady For Flying Icons

Virgin Atlantic Swaps Flying Lady For Flying Icons
Jackie Reddy

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it is swapping its Flying Lady for an entirely new set of “Flying Icons.” Aimed at showcasing the diversity of modern Britain and the carrier’s hopes to offer a more inclusive employment environment, these new figures will be featured on craft beginning this year.

She may have been part and parcel of the carrier’s livery for decades, but Virgin Atlantic is bidding goodbye to its famous Flying Lady and ushering in a new set of five “Flying Icons” to be painted on its fleet of Airbus A350-1000 craft. This change, the carrier explained in a blog post, is intended to better reflect its aspirations to offer a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Craft will begin to feature these new figures this year, with the changeover completed by 2021. Virgin states that these “Flying Icons, “…are a diverse range of men and women representing modern Britain…”.

In the blog post, the carrier said, “This move represents a big change for us following our pledge to tackle our gender pay gap and increase diversity and inclusion across the business, and this is mirrored in the look and feel of the brand. We’re aiming to have a 50:50 gender balance in leadership roles, as well as at least 12 percent black, Asian and minority ethnic group (BAME) representation across the company, by 2022.”

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

“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,” she added.

[Image Source: Virgin Atlantic]

View Comments (6)


  1. shadesofgrey1x

    April 3, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Nice blend of tradition and novelty good job!

  2. blue2002

    April 3, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Icon #3 should make for an interesting conversation when flying into KSA, UAE and a few other choice countries… Incidentally, does Virgin fly to Brunei?

  3. Kannai

    April 4, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Indeed, blue2002. … I was just scrolling down to note how I love that the white guy is gay. Not all gay guys, white or otherwise, advertise that they’re gay. While I support inclusivity, I’m not sure the rainbow bum is necessary.

  4. shadesofgrey1x

    April 4, 2019 at 4:08 am

    well the original and all the new images are too scantily clad to comply with some strict muslim morals regardless

  5. MSPpete

    April 4, 2019 at 6:42 am

    I thought this was an April Fools joke. The rainbow shorts guy is hilarious!

  6. flyingkiwi31

    April 7, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Hangon this is not April’ fools joke…for sure it s?

    Anyway they have far more issues to address and bothering with April Fools stuff.

    The Virgin brand carries little weight these days and was at its peak with mega stores and music etc in the 80’s / 90’s. The group overall is a mess and trying to implement group wide loyalty, just look at the abortion that was their Red app. They have few cluse and painting figures in various shades is a joke.

    Suggest they fix their rubbish loyalty program and get modern planes.

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