London, April 5 (IANS) Virgin Atlantic airline has announced that it was dropping its iconic “Flying Lady” emblem in favour of five diverse “flying icons” that more accurately “represent its customers and workforce”, the media reported on Friday.
A black woman and a gay man in rainbow lycra are among the new faces making their debut on four of its new Airbus A350-1000 fleet, due to be unveiled later this year, CNN reported.
According to Virgin Atlantic, this is the first time an airline has ever used male figureheads on its fleet.
Scantily draped in a red bodysuit that unfurls into a Union Jack, the “Flying Lady” was inspired by the kitsch “pin-up girls” style of artists such as the 1940s Peruvian painter Alberto Vargas.
The decision to revamp the emblem comes after the UK-based company’s recent pledge to reach a 50/50 gender balance in leadership roles as well as a 12 per cent black, Asian and minority ethnic group representation across the company by 2022.
Virgin Atlantic has also updated its uniform and make-up policy so that female cabin crew are no longer required to wear make-up during flights.
“The saying goes ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ and that has never been truer than the aviation industry’s glamorous image in the past,” said Nikki Humphrey, Senior Vice President of People at Virgin Atlantic.
“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…
“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.”