Tag Archives: Virgin Atlantic Airways

Virgin Atlantic announces new summer flying program from London Heathrow

"Rain Bow", delivered on September 30, 2019

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement:

  • Virgin Atlantic will introduce a second daily service between Heathrow and Delhi, offering 108,000 additional seats for summer 2020
  • Coupled with its new service to Mumbai, Virgin Atlantic will offer three daily flights to India
  • There will be a new weekly flight to San Francisco, boosting the service to twice daily
  • Johannesburg, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Lagos will debut the airline’s brand new A350, featuring a redesigned upper class cabin and unique new social space

Virgin Atlantic has announced a new flying program for summer 2020 including a new second daily service to Delhi, a new weekly flight to San Francisco and the next routes to debut its brand new A350 aircraft.

The new flights to Delhi will commence on March 29, 2020 and will go on sale on Saturday, November 23. It will depart Heathrow in the morning, complementing the airline’s current evening departure. Together with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic will offer seamless connections between Delhi and New York JFK, Boston, Detroit and Atlanta via Heathrow.

The airline will also be re-timing its Mumbai flight to an evening departure from Heathrow, offering a more convenient choice for business customers. With the additional daily flight to Delhi and the newly launched Mumbai service, Virgin Atlantic will offer more choice to India than ever before.

Virgin Atlantic will be adding a new weekly service to San Francisco, departing on a Friday. The airline will fly twice daily between Heathrow and the Golden Gate City, offering more options for both business and leisure travellers looking to enjoy an extended weekend to the West Coast. The airline will fly its brand new A350 on this route from May 2020 and, coupled with the new weekly flight, will boost capacity by 40,000 seats for the summer season.

By August, Virgin Atlantic’s A350 aircraft will fly to five destinations across its network and all its flights to Africa will be on the new aircraft. The next routes to debut the aircraft from Summer 2020 are:

·       Johannesburg will debut the A350 with a daily service from March 2020.

·       From April 2020, the A350 will fly daily to Los Angeles

·       There will be a daily A350 service to San Francisco from May 2020

·       There will be a daily A350 service to Lagos from August 2020

Virgin Atlantic’s A350 aircraft took to the skies in September with an inaugural flight to New York. With a totally redesigned Upper Class cabin complete with Loft area as well as tailcam and new in-seat ordering feature, this new aircraft is revolutionising travel. Virgin Atlantic has ordered a total of 12 A350-1000 aircraft, with them all scheduled to join the fleet by 2021.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A350-1041 G-VPRD (msn 319) LHR (Antony J. Best). Image: 948171.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

China Eastern, Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM announce its intention to launch a joint venture

China Eastern Airlines made this announcement:

On October 16, 2019 China Eastern has announced its intention to enter into a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM, providing more valuable and attractive joint commercial propositions for customers between Europe and China.

China Eastern currently has joint venture with Air France and KLM by working together on a portfolio of flights between China and Paris, Amsterdam. With Virgin Atlantic joining the existing partnership between China Eastern, Air France and KLM, the enlarged cooperation will offer strengthened customer benefits including increased travel options and optimized connectivity across Europeand China,further facilitated by a developed joint network, as well as competitive joint commercial propositions.

The China to United Kingdom markets are expected to be pivotal at a time where China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic services linking Londonto Shanghai are part of the mutualized offer. China Eastern plans to seek to codeshare for the first time on Virgin Atlantic services between London and Shanghai. This will open up a range of customer benefits, including the opportunity for customers to earn and redeem miles across both carriers on flights between China and United Kingdom.

The announcement reaffirms China Eastern’s commitment to the European market, which will inject new vitality into her international development, network construction and service improvement and will also contribute to the  internationalization of China’s civil aviation and the Belt and Road Initiative.

China Eastern aircraft photo gallery:


Air France, KLM and China Eastern announce plans to step up joint venture cooperation with the addition of Virgin Atlantic

Air France, KLM, China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic have signed a MOU concerning the extension of the existing joint venture between Air France, KLM and China Eastern with the addition of Virgin Atlantic, thus providing customers with an increased choice of flights and itineraries when traveling between Europe and China. The announcement reaffirms the Air France-KLM Group’s commitment to the Chinese market, having already implemented an enlarged scope of cooperation with China Eastern in January this year.

Scheduled to enter into force in spring 2020, the cooperation will offer customers an increased number of flights and itineraries between Europe and China, further facilitated by mutual code-sharing, as well as competitive joint commercial propositions. The United Kingdom to Shanghai markets and the connecting flight network within China are expected to be pivotal at a time where China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic services linking London to Shanghai are part of the mutualized offer. It will open up a range of customer benefits when flying and connecting across carriers, including the opportunity for customers to earn and redeem miles.

Flight schedules

Air France, KLM and China Eastern’s current Joint Venture schedules (summer 2019 season):

  • Air France:
    • twice-daily frequencies between Paris – Charles de Gaulle and Shanghai – Pudong
    • 3-weekly frequencies (4-weekly in peak periods) between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Wuhan
  • KLM:   12-weekly frequencies between Amsterdam – Schiphol and Shanghai – Pudong
  • China Eastern:
    • twice-daily frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Paris – Charles de Gaulle
    • 4-weekly frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Amsterdam – Schiphol
    • 3-weekly frequencies between Kunming and Paris-Charles de Gaulle
    • 3-weekly frequencies between Qingdao and Paris-Charles de Gaulle

Services between London and Shanghai by Virgin Atlantic and China Eastern are intended to be included in the envisioned joint venture cooperation (summer 2019 season):

  • Virgin Atlantic daily services to Shanghai – Pudong from London – Heathrow
  • China Eastern daily services from Shanghai – Pudong to London Heathrow and 3-weekly frequencies to London – Gatwick


Virgin Atlantic introduces the Boeing 747-400 “The Falcon” special livery

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement on Boeing 747-443 G-VLIP:

We’re excited to unveil a brand new, one-of-a-kind Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge plane wrap on this Boeing 747 aircraft, which has taken to the skies on September 25. The themed plane will now transport holidaymakers from London Gatwick Airport to Orlando, Florida, where they will be able to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at Walt Disney World® Resort.

The plane, which will be known as “The Falcon” – showcasing the iconic Millennium Falcon – the iconic spaceship once owned by Han Solo – is one part of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays’ celebrations of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened in Orlando in August.

The themed 747 will now transport you from London Gatwick Airport to Orlando, Florida, where you’ll be able to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at Walt Disney World® Resort.

The aircraft, which will be known as “The Falcon” – showcases the iconic Millennium Falcon – the famous spaceship once owned by Han Solo. It forms part of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays’ celebrations of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened in Orlando in August.

Falcon emerges from its hangar at Gatwick

As well as “The Falcon” official plane unveiling, Virgin Holidays has also launched The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience – a curated themed holiday experience to Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, which will take off between 15 and 22 February 2020 – giving fans the chance to live their Star Wars adventure, bigger and bolder than ever before.

To celebrate the aircraft entering our flight operations today, Virgin Holidays has also launched a social media competition, encouraging members of the public who spot the plane to capture and share images, for the chance to win two seats onboard The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience.

The competition is simple – anyone who spots the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge aircraft can snap and share an image on their personal Instagram account, tagging both Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic, and including #TheFalcon in the photo caption. All entries received by Wednesday 9 October will be entered into a prize draw.

The highly-anticipated land, which is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Theme Park, is set on Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, located at the outer rim of the galaxy. Once there, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays’ guests will be able to experience all-new Star Wars attractions and enjoy immersive entertainment, rubbing shoulders with smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers – all the while avoiding the ever-expanding reach of the First Order.

Joe Thompson, managing director of Virgin Holidays, said:  “We are incredibly proud to see ‘The Falcon’ take flight, featuring the iconic Millennium Falcon from the much-loved Star Wars saga, as it wings passengers to experience the thrilling, new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida.

“Over the last three decades, we have taken millions of British holiday-makers to enjoy the magic of Disney and we know that so many of our customers have been excited about planning their trip to experience this new land. We hope those lucky enough to board ‘The Falcon’ will enjoy their journey with us, even more.”

“It was a very exciting brief to be able to redesign our aircraft livery to represent something as iconic as the Millenium Falcon and it’s not something that you get to do everyday,” said our senior engineer, Dave Napper. “We have many Star Wars fans within the company who jumped at the chance to get involved in some way, and we cannot wait to see ‘The Falcon’ take flight.”

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Virgin Atlantic plane wrap facts

  • The film used to wrap the aircraft could cover four tennis courts, including Centre Court at Wimbledon!
  • The decal is 44 metres long from end to end
  • The decal took three weeks to print, using 14,000 milimetres of ink

Watch the Falcon receive its new artwork in this timelapse video.


Terms and conditions

By participating in the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge “The Falcon” Competition (the “Competition”), it is deemed that you accept and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions:

To enter this Competition, you must:

  • be 18 years of age;
  • be a UK resident;
  • have a valid, public Instagram account;
  • have uploaded to Instagram your photo of ‘The Falcon’ plane in the sky; used the official hashtag in the caption which is “#The Falcon”; and tagged both Virgin Holidays (@Virginholidays) and Virgin Atlantic (@Virginatlantic).
  1. No purchase necessary to enter however, entrants must pay their own costs for connecting to the Internet.
  2. This Competition is not open to employees of Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays, their families, their agencies or any companies directly connected with the creation and administration of this Competition.
  3. Competition Period: This Competition is open from 08:00 GMT on Wednesday 25 September 2019 until 23:59 GMT on Wednesday 09 October 2019.
  4. Only one entry will be accepted per person throughout the Competition Period.
  5. Prize: There is one (1) prize available comprising of one (1) pair of tickets for the ‘The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience’ which includes (but is not limited to) one (1) pair of Virgin Atlantic Economy return tickets from London Gatwick, together with seven (7) nights’ accommodation at a Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Further details can be found at https://www.virginholidays.co.uk/the-ultimate-star-wars-experience
  6. Bulk entries made from trade, consumer groups or third parties will not be accepted. Incomplete or illegible entries, by or via third parties or syndicates, entries by macros or other automated means (including systems which can be programmed to enter), and entries which do not satisfy the requirements of these terms and conditions in full will be disqualified and will not be counted. If it becomes apparent that a participant is using a computer(s) to circumvent this condition by, for example, the use of scripts, “brute force‟, masking their identity by manipulating IP addresses, using identities other than their own or any other automated means in order to increase that participant’s entries into the draw in a way that is not consistent with the spirit of the Competition, that person’s entries will be disqualified and any prize awarded will be void.
  7. Entries must be submitted by 23:59 on Wednesday 09 October 2019 to be valid and considered.
  8. Receipt of entries will not be acknowledged. Virgin Atlantic does not accept any responsibility or liability for lost entries or entries which are delayed, damaged, corrupted, incomplete or not received.
  9. All eligible entries shall be entered in to the Competition draw from which one (1) winner (“Winner”) will be selected at random, by independent third party One Green Been, on Thursday 10 October (the “Draw”).
  10. You agree that Virgin Atlantic may, but is not required to, make your entry available on its website http://www.virginatlantic.com and any other media, whether now known or invented in the future, and in connection with any publicity of the competition. You agree to grant Virgin Atlantic a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable licence, for the full period of any intellectual property rights in the competition image to use, display, publish, transmit, copy, edit, alter, store, re-format and sub-licence the competition image.
  11. Virgin Atlantic’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  12. The Winner will be notified within 2 days of the Draw via social media using a direct message from the official Virgin Atlantic Instagram page. The Winner will be required to respond to the direct message in order to confirm eligibility plus acceptance of the Prize within 48 hours of initial direct message. If the Winner fails to confirm acceptance within 48 hours, the Prize will be forfeited and another winner will be selected at random from the original entries.
  13. Prize confirmation will be sent to the Winner’s via email, once the Winner have provided their contact email address as part of the prize fulfilment process.
  14. The Prize is subject to Virgin Holidays booking conditions (virginholidays.co.uk/important/terms-and-conditions).
  15. The Prize is only valid for the ‘The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience’ which departs on 15 February 2020 and returns on 22 February 2020. The Winner and their companion must be available to redeem the Prize during these dates. If the Winner wishes to travel alone, their second ticket will be forfeited.
  16. Once the Prize booking has been confirmed no further changes are permitted. If a booking is cancelled no alternative tickets will be issued.
  17. Virgin Atlantic flight schedules are subject to change without notice.
  18. In the event that any of Virgin Atlantic’s flight programme or operations are altered, suspended, cut-back or cancelled, we are unable to guarantee that any affected Prize flights will be honoured. If Virgin Atlantic are able to transfer the Prize to another airline, travel will be for economy/coach class only, subject to availability. No refund or part refund will be given for any alternation or cancellation of the Prize in these circumstances.
  19. Any costs or expenses not expressly included in the Prize pursuant to these Terms and Conditions (including but not limited to) transport to and from the departure and arrival airports, car parking charges, lounge access, meals and refreshments, excess baggage, visas (including ESTAs), passports, excursions, attractions, travel insurance, medical insurance, hotel rooms service, laundry service, merchandise, souvenirs, tips, gratuities, service charges or taxes will be the sole responsibility of the Winner and their travelling companion. The Winner may be required to provide proof of their insurance policy to Virgin Atlantic.
  20. Travelling companions below the age of 16 must provide written parental consent to travel unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  21. The Winner is responsible for the behaviour of them self and their travelling companion whilst taking the Prize. Virgin Atlantic or any prize provider reserves the right in its absolute discretion to exclude a Winner and/or travelling companion from participation in the Prize if any party fails to comply with the directions of Virgin Atlantic or any companies associated with the Prize; or the Winner and/or travelling companion acts in a manner that is dangerous to themselves or to the public or is, in the opinion of Virgin Atlantic, anti-social in any manner or which causes a disturbance or nuisance to others.
  22. The Prize is non-transferable to anyone else including another family member of the Winner or any other named person and cannot be sold, bartered or substituted for any other prize. No cash alternative is available.
  23. The Prize may not be used in conjunction with any other promotion or promotional fare mounted by Virgin Atlantic or any third party.
  24. If for any reason the event is not capable of running as planned, such as cancellation or any other cause beyond the control of Virgin Atlantic which affects the running or conduct of this Competition, Virgin Atlantic may in its sole discretion cancel the Prize and not re-award any additional tickets to the Winner or reimburse any incurred expenses by the Winner as a result of winning or accepting the Prize.
  25. Virgin Atlantic must either publish or make available information that indicates that a valid award took place. To comply with this obligation Virgin Atlantic will send the surname and county of the Winner and, if applicable copies of their winning entries, to anyone who writes to Virgin Atlantic at the address below (enclosing a self-addressed envelope) within one month of the Draw. If you object to any or all of your surname, county and winning entry being published or made available, please contact Virgin Atlantic’s press office at press.office@fly.virgin.com. In such circumstances, Virgin Atlantic must still provide the information and winning entry to the Advertising Standards Authority on request.
  26. Virgin Atlantic will only process your personal information as set out in the Privacy Policy, which can be found at https://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/footer/privacy-policy.html
  27. Virgin Atlantic’s decision regarding selection of the Winner and the awarding of the Prize is final and no further correspondence shall be entered in to concerning the matter.
  28. Virgin Atlantic reserves the right to withdraw or cancel this Competition at any time, in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
  29. The Winner accepts their Prize at his/her own risk. By entering the Competition, each participant and travelling companion agrees to release Virgin Atlantic and Disney from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the promotion or with the acceptance, possession, attendance at or use of any Prize (except death or personal injury caused by Virgin Atlantic’s negligence, for fraud, or otherwise as prohibited by law).
  30. This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. You understand that you are providing your information to Virgin Atlantic and not to Instagram. All entries must comply with the Instagram Terms of Use, the Instagram Code of Conduct and any other relevant Instagram terms or policies in operation from time to time.
  31. These Terms & Conditions are subject to English Law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Promoter: Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, Registered Office: The VHQ, Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9DF


Virgin Atlantic unveils plans to expands its network at an expanded Heathrow Airport

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement to expand its operations at London’s Heathrow Airport if the airport is expanded:

  • Airline has released details of its planned long haul and new short haul route network, as it calls for an end to IAG’s stranglehold over the UK’s only hub airport 
  • Future Virgin Atlantic route maps show intention to serve up to 84 new destinations in the UK, Europe, and across the globe when the third runway is complete, a fourfold increase on its 19 long haul destinations from Heathrow in 2020
  • Ambitious plans to become Britain’s second flag carrier hinge on forthcoming Government decision on slot allocation at an expanded Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic is set to challenge IAG’s dominance at London Heathrow, as it today unveils its plans to significantly increase its long haul route network and launch a new comprehensive network of domestic and European routes when the airport expands. The new route maps illustrate how the airline’s flying programme could grow to deliver a step change in choice for customers, but only if the Government reforms the way new Heathrow slots are allocated to enable the creation of a second flag carrier at the airport.

The plans represent a fourfold increase on Virgin Atlantic’s current international network and includes exciting unserved destinations such as Kolkata (India), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Panama City (Panama), where currently passengers cannot travel non-stop. In total, Virgin Atlantic plans to serve 103 domestic, European and long haul destinations, up from 19 long haul destinations in 2020. Of the 84 new destinations planned:

  • 12 are domestic, including Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester
  • 37 are European, including Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid
  • 35 are global, including  Buenos Aires, Jakarta and Kunming
Aberdeen Belfast City Edinburgh
Exeter Guernsey Glasgow
Inverness Liverpool Jersey
Manchester Newcastle Newquay

The Government’s Aviation Strategy Green Paper has set a primary objective for the allocation of additional Heathrow capacity to facilitate effective competition between airlines, benefitting consumers through more choice and lower fares. It has also set secondary objectives to improve domestic connectivity and to improve connectivity to international destinations that are currently underserved or unserved. Virgin Atlantic’s route network plans enable the Government to meet all three objectives by bringing new competition across multiple domestic, European and global routes, as well as opening up brand new destinations. Without a second flag carrier connecting passengers between its domestic, short and long haul services, these important objectives cannot be met.

The rules governing the allocation of new slots are currently being reviewed by the Government.  Virgin Atlantic warns that the new take-off and landing slots must be allocated in a way that enables the development of a second flag carrier with the necessary scale to compete effectively with IAG. Ministers are being urged to grasp this once in a generation opportunity to shake up the Heathrow market so that British passengers and business can benefit from two flag carriers competing hard for their custom.

IAG currently dominates Heathrow Airport, controlling more than half of the total capacity. A new report published last week found one in four passengers flying from the airport – 18.5million people – have no choice but to fly with that airline group.  The report also concluded that these passengers may be paying up to 10% more in air fares as a consequence.

As things currently stand, IAG holds more than 55% of all the take-off and landing slots at Heathrow, with no other airline holding more than 5% of the remaining slots. IAG and its joint venture partners operate 77 monopoly routes, which forces customers to fly on their planes as no rival direct services exist. Virgin Atlantic intends to compete on 25 routes where there is an IAG monopoly.

IAG and joint venture partner monopoly routes from London Heathrow on which Virgin Atlantic intends to compete if slot reform is achieved:

Accra, Ghana Austin, USA Barcelona, Spain
Basel, Switzerland Belfast City, Britain Budapest, Hungary
Buenos Aires, Argentina Cape Town, South Africa Cork, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland Glasgow, Britain Gothenburg, Sweden
Helsinki, Finland Inverness, Britain Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Lyon, France Madrid, Spain Manchester, Britain
Newcastle, Britain Nice, France Osaka, Japan
Prague, Czech Republic Raleigh Durham, United States San Diego, United States
Toulouse, France

Virgin Atlantic’s plans address the urgent need for strong, effective competition at the UK’s only hub airport and will reduce the cost of flying for millions of British business and leisure passengers for whom Heathrow is the gateway to the world.

Shai Weiss, CEO Virgin Atlantic, commented:

“Never has the need for effective competition and choice at Heathrow Airport been more evident than during this summer of disruption, which has brought misery for tens thousands of travellers.  Britain, and those who travel to it, deserve better than this.  Air passengers need a choice and Virgin Atlantic is ready to deliver when Heathrow expands.

“Heathrow has been dominated by one airline group for far too long. The third runway is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the status quo and create a second flag carrier. This would lower fares and give real choice to passengers, as well giving Britain a real opportunity to boost its trade and investment links around the world. Changing the way take-off and landing slots are allocated for this unique and vital increase in capacity at the nation’s hub airport will create the right conditions for competition and innovation to thrive.”

2019 has been a year of significant growth for Virgin Atlantic which includes the announcement of three new routes from Heathrow to Tel Aviv, Mumbai and São Paulo.  It also formed part of the Connect Airways consortium that recently acquired Flybe and will launch its expanded joint venture with Air France, KLM and Delta by the end of the year. The latest addition to the airline’s fleet, the Airbus A350, took to the skies this month and follows its announcement in June that it will purchase 14 A330-900neos, meaning that by 2024 Virgin Atlantic will have one of the youngest, cleanest, greenest fleets in the sky.

Planned expansion routes:

Virgin Atlantic aircraft photo gallery:

Virgin Atlantic places its first Airbus A350-1000 ‘Red Velvet’ into service

Virgin Atlantic placed its first Airbus A350-1000 (G-VLUX) into revenue service yesterday, September 10, between London (Heathrow) and New York (JFK).

All photos by the airline.

Virgin Atlantic promotes aviation careers for women through Barbie dolls

Virgin Atlantic made this announcement:

Current statistics from the Women’s Engineering Society indicate that only 12% of the UK engineering workforce is female and similar statistics show that only 4.3% of UK pilots are women, with the aviation sector in particular dominated by men.

Originally created to show girls that women have choices, Barbie has had over 200 careers throughout her history, and in the brand’s 60th year three Virgin Atlantic careers join the ranks to inspire girls to believe anything is possible.

Research has identified that many girls begin to develop limiting self-beliefs at age five, and doubt their full potential – this is called the Dream Gap. To champion change, Barbie launched the Dream Gap Project, an on-going initiative with the goal of levelling the playing field for girls globally. Our partnership aims to highlight role models to show girls they can be anything and help close the Dream Gap.

Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with Barbie UK to show girls a variety of careers in STEM and aviation

Our partnership with Barbie marks the start of a wider initiative to encourage more women into STEM and aviation careers. Alongside our charity partner, WE, the Passport for Change programme aims to inspire young people to engage with STEM subjects and consider a future in aviation. With Barbie, our dual mission to inspire girls through more careers includes our annual Future Flyer open day at our HQ, as well as leveraging female engineers and pilots to show girls real role models, through school visits and trips to our engineering hangars. We’ll also be shining a spotlight on STEM careers using Barbie as an educational tool, inspiring on-board Barbie content, and a social campaign; #SeeHerFly.

The dolls have been designed in the likeness of real Virgin Atlantic uniforms and show ethnic and body diversity, reflecting the body types available in the Barbie line. The pilot doll has articulated ankles and flat shoes and wears a pilot’s uniform complete with wings and badge. The engineer doll wears flat safety boots, an access lanyard and noise cancelling headphones, while the cabin crew doll pays homage to the iconic red Virgin Atlantic Vivienne Westwood uniform.

Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with Barbie UK to show girls a variety of careers in STEM and aviation

According to Phil Maher, our EVP Operations, it’s imperative we play the long game, highlighting to primary aged children that any job role is open. ” It’s essential that Virgin Atlantic plays a pivotal role in encouraging women to succeed in STEM careers.  It’s evident that for those women who do become pilots and engineers, career satisfaction is exceptionally high, and it’s no surprise that job satisfaction is exceptionally high.   It’s essential we showcase to girls of all ages just how fulfilling a career in our industry can be and our partnership with Barbie is just one of the steps we’re undertaking to achieve this” he said, noting that our partnership with Barbie allows us to speak directly to our future generation of aviation workers, whether they aspire to be pilots, cabin crew or engineers. President of the Women’s Engineering Society, Dawn Childs, agrees. “The fact so many young girls narrow their career prospects from an early age by believing that some roles and jobs simply are not for them is a tragedy,” she said. “It’s not just a tragedy for them, but it denies businesses 50% of the potential future talent pool at a time when the engineering skills gap is widening and unsustainable. This fabulous initiative will help to normalise seeing women in these vital roles, and help them aim high in their future career aspirations.”

Virgin Atlantic were a founding member of Women in Aviation and Aerospace in 2018 as well as a signatory of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure charter. We’ve also developed a Springboard Network which aims to help women in junior roles develop clear career pathways to become senior leaders.

While these Virgin Atlantic dolls are one-of-a-kind, young fans can imagine themselves in-flight with the Barbie Pilot doll as well as play out different roles in other fields with other Barbie career dolls available. Later in the year, Pilot and Crew dolls will be sold on-board and in key retail partners to further celebrate the partnership.

For anybody looking to take the next step in their aviation career, Virgin Atlantic offers both cabin crew and engineering apprenticeships as well as a pilot cadet scheme. More information can be found at www.virginatlantic.com/careers

For more details, visit Barbie’s dream gap project to inspire the next generation.