• 22nd June 2024 is Virgin Atlantic’s Ruby anniversary, marking 40 years of the airline shaking up the travel industry

  • To celebrate its 40th birthday in style, Virgin Atlantic is introducing tasty treats and exciting surprises throughout June  

  • The airline has always prided itself on providing customers with choice and a unique, personalised offering

  • A special 40th birthday logo will be debuted, inspired by Virgin Atlantic’s heritage and its first ever aircraft 


Forty years ago on 22nd June 1984, Virgin Atlantic carried its first customers from London to New York, with the promise of something exciting and different. The airline has continued to shake up the travel industry ever since and will showcase some incredible initiatives for its customers to enjoy in June. A unique 40th birthday logo will appear across new products in June, inspired by the bold stripe on Virgin Atlantic’s first aircraft, Maiden Voyager, bringing a flash of red to the grey world of air travel. These special touches set Virgin Atlantic apart back then, today and into the future, with its personalised service delivered by its incredible people. 

It all starts with Virgin Atlantic’s award-winning flagship London Heathrow Clubhouse, which first opened its doors in 2006. Upper Class customers will be able to sit back and relax in the Clubhouse with a special 40th birthday beer. Available only at the London Heathrow Clubhouse, from 1st June and beyond, the beer is a zesty pale ale with a smooth finish. Brewed in Wimbledon with English Maris Otter and Cara malt, it has a juicy aroma that punches above its weight. 

Across all Clubhouses, a new, carefully curated cocktail will be available from 1st June, named Maiden Voyager, the same name given to Virgin Atlantic’s first plane that flew between London Gatwick and Newark in 1984. A fruity and fun cocktail, Maiden Voyager is a modern take on the iconic 80s ‘Woo Woo’ cocktail, including vodka, peach puree, fresh lime, grenadine, egg white and peach bitters. This is sure to make customers’ taste buds tingle and will also be sticking around beyond the birthday. It also wouldn’t be a birthday without some cake and music to get the party going, so a signature 40th birthday cake will be served across Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses; a red velvet sponge with whipped cream and berries. All Clubhouses will add some hit 80s tracks into their playlists to commemorate the birthday celebrations!

Virgin Atlantic is also diving deep into its heritage and marking its Ruby anniversary with a magnificent display of its cabin crew uniforms from the last four decades. The display will take pride of place in the London Heathrow Clubhouse, showcasing archived uniforms designed by the likes of Arabella Pollen, Elizabeth and David Emmanuel and John Rocha, as well as the current iconic design, honouring the late Vivienne Westwood, which debuted in 2014.

The surprises don’t stop there, because Virgin Atlantic’s signature cocktail is soaring to new heights. 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. Lovers of the cocktail will be thrilled to know that it’s a permanent addition to the onboard drinks list. 

Virgin Atlantic’s renowned Mile High Afternoon Tea is also getting a ruby makeover. 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 & 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. Both Upper Class and Premium Mile High Teas will be served alongside a Virgin Redhead. The raspberry macaroon will also be served in Premium, with a lemon and bergamot polenta mini cake. Economy customers will enjoy a refreshing glass of English sparkling wine by The Uncommon, with a red and white mini bagel, warm scone and lemon drizzle birthday cake topped with Funfetti. 

Last but by no means least, the airline 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. The larger bottles will be available to pre-order through Virgin Atlantic’s Retail Therapy, whereas the smaller bottles will be available for purchase onboard in all cabins from late June. Stock is limited, so don’t hang around! 

Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Chief Experience Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented, “As we gear up to our Ruby anniversary, we are delighted to celebrate this milestone with our loyal customers, in our 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.

“In our 40th year, our spirit is stronger than ever and the things that set us apart will keep us ahead. We look forward to the next 40 years as we continue flying to some of the greatest cities on earth, finding new ways to delight our customers with brilliantly different experiences, delivered by our amazing people.”


For further information please contact the Virgin Atlantic press office on +441293 747373 or email press.office@fly.virgin.com    


About Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2023, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the seventh year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs more than 8,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 30 destinations across four continents throughout the year.  

Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. In February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers.  Virgin Atlantic joined SkyTeam in March 2023 as the global airline alliance’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.    

Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for more than 15 years, committing to Net Zero by 2050 and continuous action that reduces environmental impact.  The airline operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies, with an average age under seven years. In October 2022, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos to the fleet, continuing its transformation towards 100% next generation aircraft by 2028.  In November 2023, the airline led a consortium to deliver the world’s first flight across the Atlantic on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), demonstrating that 100% SAF can be used safely as a drop in fuel in existing infrastructure, engines and airframes. The need to scale production is an industry imperative and Virgin Atlantic is committed to radical collaboration across the energy chain to support commercialisation ahead of 2030.   

For more information visit www.virginatlantic.com or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @virginatlantic.