Virgin names new plane in honour of Sir Richard Branson

By Lisa James
25/03/2024
Home » Virgin names new plane in honour of Sir Richard Branson

Virgin Atlantic is to name its new aircraft Ruby Rebel, in a tribute to founder Sir Richard Branson, who set up the business 40 years ago this year.

Virgin’s newest Airbus A33neo, registration G-VSRB, will enter service in May. The plane’s brand-new flying icon wears items relating to key achievements in Sir Richard’s career, including Virgin Records pin badges and a Tubular Bells charm bracelet. There are also references to Virgin Galactic, Virgin Voyages, Sir Richard’s family and Vivienne Westwood, who designed the crew uniform.

Virgin said: “Ruby Rebel symbolises Virgin Atlantic’s desire to do things differently, beginning in June 1984, when its first aircraft, Maiden Voyager, departed London for New York, bringing a flash of red to the skies.”

CEO Shai Weiss said: “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.”

Sir Richard said: “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.

“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.”

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