Virgin Atlantic To Retire Flying Lady Figurehead

April 2, 2019

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Virgin Atlantic is moving on from its Flying Lady motifs on the front of its aircraft, replacing them with a slightly more contemporary Flying Icons theme.

Virgin Atlantic To Retire Flying Lady Figurehead

The Flying Icons are “a diverse range of men and women representing modern Britain,” the airline said. They will be added to four new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft this year and a further eight by 2021. They will replace the Flying Lady artwork the airline has used since its launch.

The Flying Lady was inspired by figureheads that have decorated ships since the 16th century, and are based on the pin up girls drawn by Alberto Vargas in the 1930s and ’40s.

“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,” Virgin Atlantic SVP Nikki Humphrey said.

Virgin Atlantic To Retire Flying Lady Figurehead

“We’ve 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.”

Virgin Atlantic is a founding member of Women in Aviation and Aerospace and a signatory of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure charter.

The airline's Springboard Network aims to help women in junior roles develop career pathways to become senior leaders.