Virgin Atlantic promises a gastronomical onboard experience for 40th anniversary

Virgin Atlantic air hostesses ready to welcome passengers as it marks its 40th anniversary. Picture: Supplied

Virgin Atlantic air hostesses ready to welcome passengers as it marks its 40th anniversary. Picture: Supplied

Published May 31, 2024


Passengers travelling with Virgin Atlantic are in for a tantalising mix of treats as the airline celebrates its ruby anniversary.

The airline, which flies direct from Johannesburg and Cape Town to the United Kingdom, revealed that its loyal customers will be spoiled to tasty treats in June as it marks it’s 40th birthday.

Virgin Atlantic carried its first customers from London to New York 40 years ago on June 22, 1984.

The airline said that as part of its birthday celebrations, upper class customers at its London Heathrow Clubhouse will be able to sit back and relax in the Clubhouse with a special 40th birthday beer.

The beer is a zesty pale ale with a smooth finish, brewed in Wimbledon with English Maris Otter and Cara malt and is only available at the Heathrow Clubhouse, from June 1 and beyond.

Virgin Atlantic also said that it will serve a new, carefully curated cocktail called Maiden Voyager, in honour of the airline’s first plane that made the trip from London to New York.

It said Maiden Voyager is a modern take on the iconic 1980s Woo Woo cocktail, including vodka, peach purée, fresh lime, grenadine, egg white and peach bitters.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a birthday celebration without cake as the airline said that a signature 40th birthday cake will be served across Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses. The signature cake is a red velvet sponge with whipped cream and berries.

The surprises don’t end there; because Virgin Atlantic’s signature cocktail, The Virgin Redhead, is now available onboard in all cabins for the first time, complimentary in upper class and for purchase in premium and economy.

The delicious drink has long been a favourite in the Clubhouse and is making its onboard debut with bright red flair, featuring gin, mixed berries, a twist of lemon and pop of Prosecco.

The airline said that its Mile High Afternoon Tea is also getting a ruby makeover where customers on select flights where Mile High Tea is served will ponder over the new 40th commemorative themed menus before the spectacular spread is placed before them on a themed tray liner or box.

In upper class, alongside a selection of savoury finger sandwiches will be an elderflower and blueberry scone, a lemon and blackcurrant slice of birthday cake with a white chocolate disc and edible flowers, and a raspberry macaron with the airline’s 40th birthday logo topper.

Virgin Atlantic said that both upper class and Premium Mile High Teas would be served alongside a Virgin Redhead while the raspberry macaroon would also be served in Premium, with a lemon and bergamot polenta mini cake.

Also, economy customers will enjoy a refreshing glass of English sparkling wine by The Uncommon, with a beetroot swirl mini bagel, warm scone and lemon drizzle birthday cake topped with Funfetti.

And finally the airline revealed that it has partnered with Bottega to release a limited number of special edition Prosecco bottles available in 75cl and 20cl, with a bespoke 40th birthday design on pre-order.

Commenting on their birthday celebrations, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Chief Experience Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said as they gear up to their Ruby anniversary, they’re delighted to celebrate this milestone with loyal customers, in their Clubhouses and onboard.

“For four decades, we’ve been there for the moments that matter and are committed to giving our customers the very best experience in the skies,” said Fitzpatrick.