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VIRGIN ATLANTIC, a trading name of VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS LIMITED and VIRGIN ATLANTIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, is a British airline with its head office in Crawley , United Kingdom. The airline was established in 1984 as British Atlantic Airways, and was originally planned by its co-founders Randolph Fields and Alan Hellary to fly between London
London
and the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
. Soon after changing the name to Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways, Fields sold his shares in the company after disagreements with Sir Richard Branson over the management of the company. The maiden flight from London
London
Gatwick to Newark Liberty International Airport took place on 22 June 1984.

The airline along with Virgin Holidays is controlled by a holding company, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Limited, which is 51% owned by the Virgin Group and 49% by Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
. It is administratively separate from other Virgin-branded airlines .

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
uses a mixed fleet of Airbus
Airbus
and Boeing wide-body aircraft and operates to destinations in North America, the Caribbean , Africa, the Middle East and Asia from its main bases at London Heathrow and London
London
Gatwick , and its secondary base at Manchester . The airline also operates flights from Glasgow , and seasonal flights from Belfast . Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
aircraft consist of three cabins: Economy, Premium Economy and Upper Class.

In 2012, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
carried 5.4 million passengers, making it the seventh-largest UK airline in terms of passenger volume. In the year to 31 December 2013, it reported a £51 million group pre-tax loss (approximately US$87 million), however, in the year to 31 December 2014 the airline reported a return to pre-tax profit of £14.4 million.

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways Limited and Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
International Limited both hold Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Type A Operating Licences (AOC numbers 534 and 2435 respectively), both of which permit these airlines, operating as Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways, to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Origins * 1.2 Formative years * 1.3 Competition * 1.4 Recent years

* 2 Corporate affairs

* 2.1 Offices * 2.2 Ownership * 2.3 Business trends * 2.4 Service concept * 2.5 Little Red * 2.6 Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
International Limited

* 3 Destinations

* 3.1 Codeshare agreements

* 4 Fleet

* 4.1 Current fleet

* 4.1.1 Operated by Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways Limited * 4.1.2 Operated by Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
International Limited

* 4.2 Historical fleet * 4.3 Livery

* 5 Incidents and accidents * 6 See also

* 7 References

* 7.1 Citations * 7.2 Bibliography

* 8 External links

HISTORY

ORIGINS

Alan Hellary , Richard Branson , and Randolph Fields launch Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
at the 1984 press conference

Randolph Fields , an American-born lawyer, and Alan Hellary , a former chief pilot for Laker Airways
Laker Airways
, set up British Atlantic Airways as a successor to Laker Airways. Fields had the idea for an airline operating between London
London
and the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
in June 1982, when the Falklands War
Falklands War
had just finished. Fields needed expertise, and contacted Alan Hellary, who had also been thinking about establishing a regular commercial service to the Falklands. Hellary was in contact with colleagues out of work following the collapse of Laker Airways, and they developed the idea.

However, the short runway at Port Stanley Airport and the time it would take to improve it made the scheme unviable, so the idea of the Falklands service was dropped. Instead, Hellary and Fields tried to secure a licence from Gatwick Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City
New York City
. A three-day inquiry in May 1983 rejected the application after British Airways , British Caledonian and BAA objected.

Hellary and Fields then applied for a licence between Gatwick and Newark , using a 380-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-10 . However, faced with the prospect of direct competition from People Express
People Express
, a post-deregulation "no frills" discount airline at Newark, they decided to secure more funding before proceeding.

Fields met Richard Branson at a party in London
London
during which he proposed a business partnership. After protracted and testy negotiations, Fields agreed to a reduced stake of 25% in the airline (renamed Virgin Atlantic) and became its first chairman. Following disagreements over operations, Fields agreed to be bought out for an initial sum of £1 million with further payment on Virgin's first dividend. As a result of a High Court action, this additional payment was received shortly before Fields' death in 1997.

FORMATIVE YEARS

Boeing 747-200 Maiden Voyager operated the first scheduled Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
service on 22 June 1984

On 22 June 1984, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
operated its inaugural scheduled service between Gatwick and Newark using a leased Boeing 747-200 (registration G-VIRG), christened Maiden Voyager, formerly operated by Aerolíneas Argentinas
Aerolíneas Argentinas
. Part of Richard Branson's approach to business is to succeed within the first year or exit the market. This includes a one-year limit on everything associated with starting up. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
became profitable within the first 12 months, aided by sister company Virgin Records ' ability to finance the lease of a secondhand Boeing 747. The firm timed operations to take advantage of a full summer, from June to September, the most profitable period of the year.

In November 1984 the airline started a service between Gatwick Airport and Maastricht Aachen Airport
Maastricht Aachen Airport
in the Netherlands using a chartered BAC One-Eleven .

In 1986, the airline added another Boeing 747
Boeing 747
and started a scheduled route from Gatwick to Miami . Additional aircraft were acquired and routes launched from Gatwick to New York JFK (1988), Tokyo (1989), Los Angeles (1990), Boston (1991), and Orlando (1992). In 1987, a service was launched between Luton and Dublin using Viscount turboprop aircraft, but this was withdrawn around 1990. In 1988, Club Air operated two Boeing 727
Boeing 727
jet aircraft on behalf of Virgin. These served the Luton to Dublin route until about 1990.

COMPETITION

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Airbus
Airbus
A340-300 landing at Kai Tak Airport
Kai Tak Airport
, displaying the "No Way BA/AA" sticker Airbus
Airbus
A340-300 at London
London
Heathrow Airport in 2003, displaying "4 Engines 4 Longhaul" slogan

Before its inception, British Airways had been the only airline from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
serving long-haul routes to destinations in North America, the Caribbean
Caribbean
and the Far East since the BA-BCal merger in the late 1980s. In 1991, Virgin was given permission to operate from Heathrow following the abolition of the London
London
Air Traffic Distribution Rules (TDRs) which had governed the distribution of traffic between Heathrow and Gatwick airports since 1978, primarily to bolster the profitability of Gatwick. Airlines without an international scheduled service from Heathrow prior to 1 April 1977 were obliged to operate from Gatwick. However, airlines that did not already operate at Heathrow were still able to begin domestic scheduled services there provided BAA, which ran both Heathrow and Gatwick on behalf of the UK Government, and the Secretary of State for Transport granted permission.

The Civil Aviation Authority also transferred two pairs of unused landing slots that British Airways held at Tokyo's Narita Airport to Virgin to let it increase its frequency between Heathrow and Tokyo from four to six weekly round trips, making it easier for Virgin to compete against British Airways. The then- Chairman
Chairman
of BA Lord King called the CAA's decision, which the Government had endorsed, "a confiscation of his company's property".

In the year to October 1993, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
declared a loss of £9.3m. The decision to abolish the London
London
TDRs and to let Virgin Atlantic operate at Heathrow in competition with British Airways became the trigger for BA's so-called "dirty tricks" campaign against Virgin. In 1993, BA's public relations director, David Burnside , published an article in BA News, British Airways' internal magazine, which argued that Branson's protests against British Airways were a publicity stunt. Branson sued British Airways for libel, using the services of George Carman QC . BA settled out of court when its lawyers discovered the lengths to which the company had gone in trying to kill off Virgin. British Airways had to pay a legal bill of up to £3 million, damages to Branson of £500,000 and a further £110,000 to his airline. Branson reportedly donated the proceeds from the case to Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
staff.

In the 1990s, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
jets were painted with "No Way BA/AA" in opposition to the attempted merger between British Airways and American Airlines
American Airlines
. In 1997, following British Airways' announcement that it was to remove the Union Flag
Union Flag
from its tailfins in favour of world images , Virgin introduced a Union Flag
Union Flag
design on the winglets of its aircraft and changed the red dress on the Scarlet Lady on the nose of aircraft to the union flag with the tag line "Britain's Flag Carrier ". This was a tongue-in-cheek challenge to BA's traditional role as the UK's flag carrier.

In June 2006, US and UK competition authorities investigated alleged price fixing between Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
and British Airways over passenger fuel surcharges. In August 2007, BA was fined £271 million by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the US Department of Justice . However, the Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, Steve Ridgway, was forced to admit that the company had been a party to the agreement, had been aware of the price fixing and had taken no steps whatsoever to stop the price fixing. The company escaped a similar fine to that levied on British Airways only by virtue of the immunity it had earlier negotiated with the regulators.

In April 2010, a tip-off from Cathay Pacific led to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigating alleged price fixing between Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific on flights to Hong Kong between 2002 and 2006. Cathay Pacific received immunity from prosecution for reporting the alleged offence. A maximum fine, if found guilty, was 10% of turnover which based on the £2.5 billion in sales for the year to February 2009 would have been £250 million. At the time, the OFT stressed that it should not be assumed that the parties involved had broken the law. The OFT cleared both airlines in December 2012, concluding there were "no grounds for action".

RECENT YEARS

In May 2014, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
ended flights to Sydney. In September 2014, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
announced plans to scrap flights to Tokyo, Mumbai, Vancouver and Cape Town, and to codeshare transatlantic flights with Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
. The company was also reported to be considering axing its new 'Little Red' domestic airline after suffering heavy losses. On 6 October 2014, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
confirmed that Little Red services between London
London
and Manchester would end in March 2015, with the Scottish routes closing in September 2015. Passengers used the routes from point to point as opposed to using it as a connection for longer haul Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
flights. The former BMI routes will continue with rival airline British Airways.

In June 2015, Richard Branson admitted that Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
would be in "real trouble" without strategic support from Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
. With cumulative losses between 2010 and 2013 amounting to £233 million, the future of the 30-year-old airline was in doubt. In the same month, the airline announced it would cut 500 jobs to establish a more efficient management structure.

In July 2017, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
announced their intension to form a joint venture with Air France-KLM. Under the agreement, Air France-KLM will acquire a 31 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
currently held by Virgin Group for £220 million subject to execution of definitive agreements and receipt of final shareholder, board, and regulatory approvals. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
would retain its independence as a UK airline with a UK operating certificate, and will continue to fly under the Virgin brand.

CORPORATE AFFAIRS

OFFICES

The Office, the head office building of Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
and Virgin Holidays in Crawley

Virgin Atlantic's head office, known as The Office, is located on a business park in Crawley , England, near Gatwick Airport and also houses the corporate offices of Virgin Holidays . The company operates several offices and call centres around the world, with a large office in Swansea
Swansea
, Wales, which is a base for reservations and sales, baggage claims and tracing, 'live chat' web support and a customer relations department.

International offices are located at Norwalk , Johannesburg, Barbados, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Greater Delhi, Lagos and Dubai.

OWNERSHIP

Virgin Group sold a 49% stake in the airline to Singapore Airlines in 1999 for £600 million. On 14 May 2008, Singapore Airlines formally announced an invitation for offers for its Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
stake, and publicly acknowledged that its stake in the airline had "underperformed".

In November 2010 it was reported that Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
had appointed Deutsche Bank to begin a strategic review of options for the airline following the tie-up between British Airways and American Airlines. By February 2011 it was confirmed that SkyTeam members Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
had appointed Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
to advise them on a joint potential approach for Virgin Atlantic. Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways
was also reported to be considering a deal, and Willie Walsh , chief executive of International Airlines Group , stated that they would be interested in the airline, but only for the lucrative take-off and landing slots it holds at Heathrow Airport.

On 11 December 2012, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
confirmed the purchase of Singapore Airlines' 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
for £224 million, with future plans to develop a transatlantic joint venture. Regulatory approval from the United States and European Union was granted on 20 June 2013, and the purchase was completed on 24 June. In December 2012, International Airlines Group CEO, Willie Walsh, suggested that the loss-making company would be history within five years. "I can't see Delta wanting to operate the Virgin brand because if they do what does that say about the Delta brand? I just don't see that the guy has anything that stands out in terms of what he has achieved in the industry."

In July 2017, Virgin Group reached an agreement to sell a 31% stake in the airline to Air France-KLM for £220 million, leaving it with a 20% holding.

BUSINESS TRENDS

The key trends for Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
are shown below (from 2014 onwards, figures are for year ending December; earlier figures are for year ending February, and exclude Virgin Nigeria operations 2005–2008):

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Turnover (£bn) 1,630 1,912 2,141 2,337 2,579 2,357 2,700 2,740 2,870 2,828 2,782 2,689

Profit (EBT) (£m) 68.0 77.5 46.8 22.9 68.4 −132.0 18.5 −80.2 −69.9 −174.7 87.5 23.0

Number of employees (average monthly)

c.9,000 9,580 9,231 9,005 8,875

Total flights 17,637 18,960 21,344 22,149 20,735 19,484 20,519 21,033 28,373 29,710 27,147 21,883

Number of passengers (m) 4.5 4.9 5.7 5.8 5.5 5.5 5.3 5.4 5.5 6.1 5.7 5.4

Passenger load factor (%) 74.3 72.8 76.5 76.9 78.9 82.5 77.5 78.1 77.4 79.3 76.8 77.7

Number of aircraft (at year end)

40 40 39 40

Notes/sources

SERVICE CONCEPT

Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
aircraft operate with a three-class cabin configuration: Economy , Premium Economy , and Upper Class - the business class product. Premium Economy has a separate check-in area, priority boarding and a wider seat with more legroom. Upper Class features a seat that converts into a fully flat bed and access to chauffeur drive. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
was the first airline to offer personal entertainment for all passengers in all classes.

The airline's frequent-flyer program is styled 'the Flying Club'.

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
operates ten lounges worldwide. It has nine 'Clubhouse' locations - London
London
(Heathrow and Gatwick), New York-JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington D. C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Johannesburg. It also maintains a 'Revivals' arrival lounge in London
London
Heathrow. They are accessible for passengers travelling in Upper Class and Flying Club Gold tier members.

LITTLE RED

For more details on this topic, see Virgin Atlantic Little Red
Virgin Atlantic Little Red
. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airbus
Airbus
A320-200 Little Red operated by Aer Lingus

British Midland International
British Midland International
provided domestic and European feeder traffic into Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
in partnership with Virgin until it was purchased by British Airways' parent company International Airlines Group in 2011. The Lufthansa
Lufthansa
-owned airline had faced heavy annual losses of more than £100 million. Under the terms of the takeover, IAG had to relinquish some former BMI domestic slots at Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
purchased enough slots in 2012 to enable it to launch a domestic service on 31 March 2013, under the "Little Red" brand, operating a total of 12 daily services from London
London
to Aberdeen (3), Edinburgh (6), and Manchester (3). The airline wet-leased four Airbus Airbus
Airbus
A320-200s from Aer Lingus , operating with Virgin Atlantic livery, under a three-year contract.

In September 2014, it was reported that Virgin was considering closing its domestic brand after suffering heavy losses, with Civil Aviation Authority figures confirming an average seat occupancy level of just 37.6% in 2013. The 12 daily pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow cannot be sold to be used for long-haul routes.

On 6 October 2014, Virgin confirmed that the Little Red service would cease; flights to Manchester ended on 28 March 2015 and flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen ended on 26 September 2015.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

On 13 April 2015, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
incorporated a new subsidiary - Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
International Limited (VAIL). In November 2015, VAIL obtained its own Air Operators Certificate and Operating Licence, and commenced operations with two former Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways Limited operated Airbus
Airbus
A330-300 aircraft taking over routes previously operated by Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Limited between London
London
Gatwick and Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago. These flights are operated on behalf of Virgin Atlantic.

Upon incorporation as an AOC holder, the majority of Virgin Atlantic's landing slots at London
London
Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
were transferred to VAIL, allowing Virgin to access the value of the carriers slots by 'mortgaging ' them through open investment from capital markets, the first time in Europe a company has used airport take-off and landing slots to generate money in this way.

DESTINATIONS

Main article: Virgin Atlantic destinations

CODESHARE AGREEMENTS

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

* Air China * Air New Zealand * Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
* Flybe * Jet Airways
Jet Airways
* Singapore Airlines

FLEET

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airbus
Airbus
A330-300 , after take-off from London-Heathrow , UK Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airbus
Airbus
A340-600 , after take-off from London-Heathrow, UK Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Boeing 787-9 , after take-off from London-Heathrow, UK

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
uses a mixed fleet of Airbus
Airbus
and Boeing aircraft. All the Boeing 747-400s are based at Gatwick and Manchester and operate routes to Orlando, Las Vegas and the Caribbean
Caribbean
(Gatwick only); Airbus A330 -300s are also used on selected routes from Gatwick to the Caribbean. The Airbus
Airbus
A330-300s also operate from Manchester to New York-JFK, Boston, Atlanta and San Francisco. Glasgow and Belfast International Airport offer a seasonal route to Orlando using Boeing 747s. Airbus
Airbus
A330s, Airbus
Airbus
A340s and Boeing 787s are used interchangeably on routes from London
London
Heathrow Airport. In August 2002, Virgin became the first airline to operate the Airbus
Airbus
A340-600 .

On 27 September 2006, Branson announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting aircraft weight and fuel consumption. There was also an experiment in 2007 in partnership with Boeing to have aircraft towed to the runway to save fuel, as a potential change to future operational procedures. Virgin also volunteered a Boeing 747 for a test of biofuels in February 2008. The aircraft flew without passengers from Heathrow to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol , with 20% of the power for one engine provided by plant-based biofuel. Virgin said that it expected to use algae -based biofuels in the future.

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 in October 2014, becoming the first European airline to fly the variant. Virgin's order was first announced on 24 April 2007, and is for a total of 17 aircraft, with options on five more. The exercised options will replace the Heathrow-based 747 fleet during 2015 and 2016. Virgin Atlantic also has an order for the Airbus
Airbus
A380-800 , with delivery due in 2018. The type was originally projected to enter service in 2006, but a combination of delays in production and Virgin deferring its order has pushed that date back.

The older Airbus
Airbus
A340-300 aircraft were withdrawn from service in April 2015, as rising costs had made it less economical to run the type. Virgin had begun to replace the A340-300 on routes with the two-engine A330-300 and 787-9. The final Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
A340-300 flight was made on 9 April, landing at Heathrow early on 10 April. Seven A340-600s remain in service.

The airline's A330s, in three-class layout, have been stationed at Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
since April 2012.

Sir Richard Branson announced in March 2016 that The Spaceship Company would partner with Boom Technology to develop supersonic jets capable of travelling between London
London
and New York in three and a half hours. He confirmed that Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
had options on ten of the aircraft.

CURRENT FLEET

Virgin Atlantic's fleet is operated by Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways Ltd and Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
International Limited.

Operated By Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways Limited

The fleet operated by Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airways Ltd. consists of the following registered aircraft as of July 2017: Virgin Atlantic planes on stands at Heathrow Terminal 3 in 2013

VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS LIMITED FLEET AIRCRAFT IN SERVICE ORDERS PASSENGERS NOTES

J W Y TOTAL

Airbus
Airbus
A330-300 8 — 33 48 185 266

Airbus
Airbus
A340-600 7 — 45 38 225 308 To be replaced by A350-1000.

Airbus
Airbus
A350-1000 — 12 TBA Deliveries begin early 2019. 8 to be purchased, 4 to be leased. To replace A340-600 and 747-400.

Airbus
Airbus
A380-800 — 6 TBA Deliveries deferred to 2018.

Boeing 747-400
Boeing 747-400
8 — 14 66 375 455 To be replaced by A350-1000. To be phased out starting 2019.

Boeing 787-9 14 3 31 35 198 264 Deliveries through 2018, 5 options

TOTAL 37 21

Operated By Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
International Limited

The fleet operated by Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
International Limited consists of the following registered aircraft as of July 2017:

VIRGIN ATLANTIC INTERNATIONAL LIMITED FLEET AIRCRAFT IN SERVICE ORDERS PASSENGERS NOTES

J W Y TOTAL

Airbus
Airbus
A330-300 2 — 33 48 185 266

TOTAL 2 —

HISTORICAL FLEET

Boeing 747–123 Spirit of Sir Freddie marked with "No Way BA/AA" protest, on approach to New York-JFK

VIRGIN ATLANTIC HISTORICAL FLEET AIRCRAFT INTRODUCED RETIRED NOTES/REF

Airbus
Airbus
A320-200 1995 2000 1 leased for a London
London
to Athens service, replaced by an A321-200 in 2000

1999 2001 3 operated for Virgin Sun

Airbus
Airbus
A321-200 2000 2003 1 named Hellenic Beauty leased for a London
London
to Athens service to replace an A320-200

2000 2001 1 operated for Virgin Sun

Airbus
Airbus
A340-300 1993 2015 Last commercial flight 9 April 2015

Boeing 747-100 1990 2000 G-VMIA named Spirit of Sir Freddie after Sir Freddie Laker

Boeing 747-200 1984 2005 G-VIRG was Virgin Atlantic's first aircraft

LIVERY

Boeing 747-400
Boeing 747-400
Lady Penelope in Birthday Girl livery in 2014, on approach to New York-JFK , NY, United States

Virgin's first aircraft were painted with a "Eurowhite" design with a red stripe through the centre of the main deck windows. The engines were metallic silver and the tail red with the Virgin logo in white. In the 1990s, the refreshed design was introduced, removing the centre red stripe through the windows, engines were painted red, the Virgin Atlantic titles in grey were added along the main fuselage, and the 'Flying Lady' was introduced to the nose area. In October 2006, with the delivery of G-VRED, Virgin introduced a new design, with the fuselage painted in metallic silver and a revised tail fin, with red and purple features and the Virgin logo. Near the nose of each aircraft is a pin-up girl , the "Scarlet Lady", carrying a Union flag, which was designed by British artist Ken White, who modelled the motif on the World War II pin-ups of Alberto Vargas – hence the naming one of the fleet Varga Girl (in this case, an A340-600 registered G-VGAS).

Each aircraft has a name, usually feminine, such as Ladybird, Island Lady, and Ruby Tuesday, but some are linked to registrations (e.g. G-VFIZ became Bubbles). A couple are commemorative names (e.g. G-VEIL—Queen of the Skies—which was named by Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
on 7 April 2004, marking the centenary of the Entente Cordiale ; this frame exited the fleet in April 2016). An exception is Spirit of Sir Freddie. An early Boeing 747, it was named in honour of Freddie Laker of Laker Airways, who helped Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
following the demise of his own airline. G-VFAB—Lady Penelope—gained a special livery to celebrate Virgin Atlantic's 21st birthday. G-VFAB, Lady Penelope, exited the fleet in September 2016 after 21 years of service and was subsequently parted out.

The current livery dates from 2010 and returns to the "Eurowhite" design featuring purple billboard titles on the fuselage, slight changes to the Scarlet Lady, and new red metallic paint for the aircraft's tail and engines. On aircraft that have winglets, the wingtips are red, with the Virgin logo on the inside facing passengers on board. The Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
logo was also added in purple billboard titles to the underside of the aircraft.

INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS

* On 5 November 1997, after numerous attempts to shake free the jammed main landing gear of an Airbus
Airbus
A340-300 (G-VSKY) failed, the aircraft en route from Los Angeles to Heathrow, made an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport. The aircraft sustained major damage to the undersides of engines one, two and four, which made contact with the runway surface during landing. The runway surface was also damaged and several runway lights were broken as the right main landing gear wheels broke up during the deceleration. The aircraft was evacuated safely. Two crew members and five passengers sustained minor injuries during the evacuation. The damaged aircraft was repaired after the incident and was retired from the Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
fleet in 2003. * On 8 February 2005, on board an Airbus
Airbus
A340-600 aircraft (G-VATL) en route from Hong Kong to Heathrow, the fuel control computer system caused a loss of automatic fuel transfer between tanks. The left outboard engine lost power, and shortly afterwards the right outboard engine also began to falter until the crew began to crossfeed fuel manually. The crew diverted to Amsterdam and landed safely. The interim accident report made four safety recommendations addressed to the primary certification bodies for large transport category aircraft (EASA and the FAA ), advising on the need for a low-fuel warning system for large aircraft.

SEE ALSO

* Aviation portal * Companies portal * West Sussex portal

* Air transport in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* List of airports in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* Transport in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom

REFERENCES

CITATIONS

* ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". iata.org. Retrieved 13 April 2015. * ^ A B FAA Doc. 7340 2F, Chapter Three: ICAO Aircraft Company/Telephony/Three−Letter Designator, p. 3-2-92 * ^ FAA Doc. 7340 2F, Chapter Three: ICAO Aircraft Company/Telephony/Three−Letter Designator/Additions, p. CAM 1-3 * ^ A B C "Destinations". Virgin Atlantic. Retrieved 1 August 2013.

* ^ Milmo, Dan (8 January 2013). " Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
hires American Airlines executive as new CEO". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 August 2013. * ^ " Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Directors". Virgin Atlantic. 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013. * ^ "All Services 2012" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 23 June 2013. * ^ Young, Sarah (24 April 2014). " Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
plots course for return to profit this year". Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2014. * ^ " Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
2014 financial results". Virgin Atlantic. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015. * ^ A B "UK Aeroplane and Helicopter AOC Holders (N-Z)". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2017. * ^ "Type A Operating Licence Holders". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 5 February 2017. * ^ A B C "Aircraft Illustrated – Virgin Birth". Ian Allan: 48–51. ISSN 0002-2675 . * ^ West Sussex County Times. 20 January 1984. p. 1. * ^ Bamber, G.J.; Gittell, J.H.; Kochan, T.von Nordenflytch, A. (2009). "chapter 5". Up in the Air: How Airlines Can Improve Performance by Engaging their Employees. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link ) * ^ David Cross. "Flying Dutchman- Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
style." Times 17 November 1984: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 September 2014. * ^ "Operation of the UK Traffic Distribution Rules in relation to all-cargo services at London
London
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