With her knee-high boots and barely-there leotard, Virgin Atlantic’s flying lady was never the most PC of logos.
Now, in the age of MeToo and in the interests of diversity, she has finally fallen from grace.
The airline yesterday revealed that, after 34 years, its pin-up will no longer feature on new aircraft. Bosses will be replacing the traditional image with a range of men and women ‘representing modern Britain’ on their new A350-1000 fleet.
Among those wearing more modest red outfits will be an Asian woman known as Meera, a black man (Daley) and woman (Zadie), and a gay man (Oscar) sporting a rainbow design.
Virgin Atlantic said it will now be the first airline to have male figureheads on its aircraft.
The flying lady was based on pin-up girls made famous by Alberto Vargas in the 1930s and 1940s.
Her departure comes a month after it emerged Virgin has stopped telling women cabin crew they have to wear make-up. It has also started providing them with trousers as part of their standard uniform, rather than only if requested.
The carrier has pledged to tackle its gender pay gap and increase diversity and inclusion. It is aiming to have a 50/50 gender split in leadership roles, as well as 12 per cent black, Asian and minority ethnic group representation across the company, by 2022.
Nikki Humphrey, senior vice president of people at Virgin Atlantic, said: ‘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.
‘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.’
© Daily Mail