Virgin Atlantic reveals a new flying icon for India

Richard Branson standing next to a sign with the Indian Flying Icon for Virgin Atlantic's planes
Image from Virgin Atlantic
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
18 December 2019

Virgin Atlantic has revealed a new Indian flying icon, which will feature on the side of their aircraft from 2020.

The new icon, named Aria, has been designed as part of a series that has been created to showcase the diverse range of people who represent modern Britain. She has been named Aria after Richard Branson’s great-great-great-grandfather’s wife, who was Indian.

Aria, along with other new, more diverse icons will replace the current Flying Lady on Virgin Atlantic’s planes. The use of the Flying Lady on Virgin Atlantic’s planes was inspired by figureheads that have decorated ships since the 16th century. The original version was inspired by the pin up girls made famous by Alberto Vargas in the 1930s and 40s. Introducing the new fling icons represents the changing face of the brand.

“India holds a very special place in our hearts,” Richard Branson said. “We are very excited to be celebrating 20 years of flying here in 2020. We thought that the best way to celebrate this milestone would be by adding more choice of routes for our customers to fly directly between Mumbai and Delhi to London. We are committed to this market and will continue to invest and grow our operations at the same time as offering an unrivalled service for those choosing to fly with us to the UK and onto the US.”

Virgin Atlantic relaunched flights to Mumbai in October 2019, offering a daily service between India’s commercial centre and the UK’s capital. The flights are operated by Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with the airline’s award-winning Upper Class, Premium and Economy Light, Classic and Delight cabins. 

“2019 marks a significant period of growth for Virgin Atlantic and I’m delighted that we’re continuing to expand our route network once more, by returning to Mumbai,” Juha Jarvinen, executive vice president of commercial at Virgin Atlantic, said.

The airline has also announced it will be adding a second daily service to Delhi from London Heathrow. The new flights to Delhi will take off from March 2020, departing London in the morning to complement the existing evening departure. This, along with the Mumbai service, gives customers more options for travelling between the UK and India than ever before.

Richard Branson recently visited Mumbai for Virgin Atlantic’s Business Is An Adventure event, read more about it on his blog.

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