Britain-based Virgin Atlantic is retiring its historic emblem for a diverse collection of “Flying Icons,” pledging to “increase diversity and inclusion across its business.”
The original Flying Lady, based on the “pin-up girl” imagery fashionable in the 1930s and ’40s, adorned Virgin Atlantic aircraft for more than 30 years, according to the airline’s website.
— BastilleGlobal (@BastilleGlobal) April 3, 2019
The new emblems represent gay, black, female and Asian groups and will appear on the four new Airbus A350-1000 aircrafts being introduced by the British airline this year.
It’s goodbye to @VirginAtlantic’s Flying Lady – and hello to five new flying icons you’ll be able to spot on their new fleet of aircraft https://t.co/GWeq448kmE #AvGeek #AirbusA350 #AviationNews pic.twitter.com/sWNTCs6tlg
— Virgin (@Virgin) April 3, 2019
The new emblems accompany an increased commitment to diversity by the company, which said it intends to tackle a gender pay gap and increase the diversity makeup of employees. The airline hopes to have 12 percent black, Asian and minority employees by 2022, as well as a corporate leadership gender balance of 50:50.
“The saying goes ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and that has never been truer than the aviation industry’s glamourous image in the past,” Nikki Humphrey, senior vice president of people at Virgin Atlantic, said on the website announcement.
“We have 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,” Humphrey stated.
Imagery of the Union Jack will continue to be incorporated in the airline’s branding.
Virgin Atlantic has also updated policies related to style and grooming to promote equality. It no longer requires female cabin crew to wear makeup during flights, and has updated its uniform to include a standard trouser option for women, according to a report by CNN.
The company also recently announced an inaugural “pride flight,” featuring an entirely LGBT staffed plane that will fly from London to Newark on June 28, according to the announcement. The flight will include an on-board DJ, Drag Queen Bingo, and a Judy Garland sing-along.
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