Virgin Atlantic will be 18 years old on Saturday 22 June and is celebrating in style with a multi-media campaign. This will include press, poster and TV commercials and celebrations at Heathrow and Gatwick and other Virgin Atlantic destinations.
Richard Branson will launch a new slogan “Fly a younger fleet,” which will appear on the fuselage of Virgin Atlantic aircraft. This celebrates the fact that the average age of the Virgin Atlantic fleet, at 5.3 years, is less than that of the airline’s competitors.
Commenting on the birthday celebrations and the new slogan Richard said:
“The airline may now be 18 years old and a well-established force in world aviation but our fleet and, hopefully, our attitude is younger than ever. With six recently acquired Boeing 747 400’s the average age of our fleet is now just over five years and with the new Airbus A340-600’s set to arrive from next month that is set to drop still further. This brings real benefits to passengers with increased comfort and service on board and higher than ever reliability and efficiency.”
Richard will unveil the new slogan on Virgin’s newest 747 accompanied by a group of five year olds in specially made kids size flight deck and cabin crew uniforms. He will also kick off celebrations at Heathrow where staff will be wearing “We’re 18” badges and handing out fun packs for young passengers.
Richard also said:
“It gives me an amazing feeling of pride to see the airline reach this milestone. When we launched in 1984 there were many who said we wouldn’t survive 18 months let alone 18 years. The main reason that we have is the support and loyalty of our passengers and our staff. Our quality of service has been the bedrock of our brand and our friendly, professional, and fun-loving staff have made us the success we are today.”
Other marketing influences include:
á TV adverts running over the birthday weekend á ads in the national and trade press á bedsheets - DIY birthday greetings displayed at roundabouts around the South East á regional press ads - a photo of Richard to run in the small announcements section (“18 and flying high”) á celebratory birthday pack sent to UK travel agents á throughout June a special programme will run on the airline’s inflight entertainment systems celebrating 1984 - from the A-Team to Wham á musical boarding cards on 21 June will play Happy Birthday to passengers and the check in and lounges will be decorated á all flights on 21 June will run special birthday competitions and passengers will be treated to jelly and ice cream and a slice of birthday cake.
Virgin Atlantic operated its inaugural service on 22 June 1984 between Gatwick and Newark. The airline now flies to 19 destinations worldwide and employs 7100 staff. The fleet comprises 22 aircraft, twelve Boeing 747 400’s and ten Airbus A340-300’s. The airline will take delivery of four A340-600’s this year.
Since its first flight Virgin Atlantic has flown 33 million passengers around the world and operated approximately 120 000 flights.