Introducing Virgin Atlantic’s newest aircraft: Ruby Rebel

Virgin Atlantic's Ruby Rebel flying icon
Virgin Atlantic
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
25 March 2024

2024 is a big year for Virgin Atlantic as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. To kick off the celebrations in style, it has unveiled its newest aircraft – named Ruby Rebel in honour of Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

“When starting Virgin Atlantic, I went against everyone’s advice – and on paper they were right. They knew we’d be a tiny airline against much bigger players. But my attitude is that if you can create something that's better than what everybody else is offering, then you have a chance of succeeding,” Richard said. “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.”

With the registration G-VSRB, Ruby Rebel will be Virgin Atlantic’s fifth Airbus A33neo and will enter service from May. It will also feature a brand-new flying icon, inspired by the rebellious spirit that’s always driven Virgin Atlantic to do things differently.

The icon has a distinct punk styling, reflecting Virgin Atlantic’s iconic Vivienne Westwood uniform that was introduced in 2014 and cabin crew still wear today. It also features nods to Richard’s career throughout its design with Virgin Records pin badges, a Tubular Bells charm bracelet, a Virgin Galactic spaceship on the belt buckle, and a Virgin Voyages anchor on the boots. Another bracelet featuring the letter J, H and S on the icon’s arm is a gesture to Richard’s wife Joan and their children Holly and Sam.

Ruby Rebel embodies the rebellious spirit that’s always driven us to do things differently

Shai Weiss, CEO Virgin Atlantic, commented: “Forty years ago, Virgin Atlantic flew our first customers between London and New York offering something different and realising our purpose to ensure everyone can take on the world. As we gear up to mark our Ruby anniversary in June, it’s an opportunity to look ahead to the next forty years.

“So much has changed, but the one thing that’s remained constant is our incredible people and their unique red spirit, the red thread that keeps us flying miles above the rest. It all started with Richard on 22 June 1984, a pioneer with a vision to shake up the travel industry, putting people first and giving customers a choice.

“Ruby Rebel embodies the rebellious spirit that’s always driven us to do things differently. And, the best is yet to come.”

When Virgin Atlantic launched in 1984, its first aircraft, Maiden Voyager, departed London for New York, bringing a flash of red to the skies. Ruby Rebel symbolises the airline’s desire to continue doing things differently. Its focus has always been to deliver the best customer experience in a brilliantly different way. From being the first airline to introduce seat back TVs, the Premium cabin and fleet-wide WiFi, to flying the world’s first Pride flight and the first 100% sustainable aviation fuel transatlantic flight, Virgin Atlantic and its people continue to challenge the status quo.

Visit Virgin Atlantic to find out more.