One of the new Virgin Atlantic logos which appears on it's planes. Picture: virginatlantic.com

London - Virgin Atlantic on Wednesday unveiled its first "diverse" flying lady logo.

The airline announced in April that its original pin-up, firmly out of fashion in her risque garb, would be replaced with men and women "representing modern Britain".

And so, leaping off the side of its new Airbus A350, is an icon of a black woman holding a Union Jack.

The plane, named Red Velvet, is the first of 12 new aircraft to be unveiled by Virgin – which has clearly gone back to the drawing board since it first released sketches of the new figureheads earlier this year.

In the initial images, the characters were dressed in skimpy red leotards – but this flying lady looks more demure in a ruffled white blouse and high-waist shorts.

Virgin says it will be the first airline in the world to put male figureheads on the sides of its planes. Picture from virginatlantic.com
The airline did not immediately explain the costume change and would not confirm whether the other characters – who include a black man, a gay man, an Asian woman and a red-haired woman – will lose their leotards, too.

WATCH: Virgin Atlantic's Airbus A350

 

In a blogpost on virginatlantic.com the airline explains: "Over the years, there have been a number of variations to the artwork. The original had Virgin written on the flag and our lady was wearing a neckerchief (is that even a word?). The next iteration displayed the Union flag and still had the neckerchief, though after someone compared it to a British Airways logo, it was promptly dropped."

The original flying lady was based on pin-up girls made famous by Peruvian artist Alberto Vargas in the 1930s and 1940s.

Daily Mail