Virgin Atlantic today celebrates the 400th Wings Ceremony for twelve newly qualified cabin crew at the airline’s Head Office in Crawley, near Gatwick. The first group to receive their Virgin Atlantic Wings was in June 1984 when the airline was started and since then more than 9000 cabin crew have taken to the skies with Virgin Atlantic.
Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, commented,
“Virgin Atlantic is very pleased to present Group 400 with their Wings. To receive Wings is a huge achievement and I would like to wish all the newly appointed cabin crew, the very best of luck for the future.
“Our cabin crew embody all our values and are the best in the business - as well as being professional at all times we encourage them to show the ‘Virgin Flair’ that makes them exceptional. We hope these new recruits enjoy flying with Virgin Atlantic - its great to have them onboard.”
Mark Carter, Head of Cabin Services, commented,
“Virgin Atlantic prides itself on the excellent levels of service achieved by its cabin crew and we are confident that they will continue to surpass our passengers expectations.”
Since 1984 the role of Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic has become a sought after career and this is represented in the 25,000 plus applications that the airline receives each year. From that number approximately 4000 are interviewed annually and the appropriate candidates are selected. Virgin Atlantic presently employs around 2700 cabin crew.
The Wings Ceremony comes at the culmination of a six week training course and is when trainees (new hire cabin crew) receive their ‘Wings’ in order for them to start their career flying with Virgin Atlantic.
The training course takes place at the Virgin Atlantic Flight Centre in Horley. The course starts with ten days of service where the trainees are trained in interpersonal skills, brand and commercial awareness and special needs training. During this time trainees are also taught about the Virgin Atlantic product and how to deliver and provide excellent service.
This is followed by twelve days of Safety and Emergency Procedures (SEP) and then five days in Aviation Medicine training, an intensive course where trainees learn first aid and how to cope with a variety of medical emergencies onboard, from skills in resuscitation to handling a cardiac arrest with a defibrillator. The training course concludes with three days of SEP conversion so that crew can work on both Airbus A340 and Boeing 747 400 aircraft.
Requirements for the role of Virgin Atlantic cabin crew are as follows; the applicant must be ready to handle pressure, the unexpected and keen to make the most of their confidence, enthusiasm with a genuine interest in people. Applicants should be between 19 and 33 years of age with good standard of education (GCSE or equivalent) be fluent in both spoken and written English, stand above 5’2 in height, be a confident swimmer and hold an EU (EEA) passport.