Virgin Atlantic names a new Queen of the Skies… and it is not a 747

Virgin Atlantic A330
Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has named one of its newest aircraft Queen of the Skies.

The title usually symbolizes the Boeing 747, the world’s first jumbo jet that revolutionized air travel for the masses.

But this time, the British air carrier used it to name a brand-new Airbus A330neo passenger plane, the latest newcomer of its fleet.

The Heathrow Airport-based carrier explained in a statement released on January 23, 2023, that the name of the the A330neo registered G-VEII was selected to honor the late monarch of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II.

It is the second Virgin Atlantic aircraft to bear this name. “Back in 2004, her late majesty unveiled an Airbus A340-600 with the same name at a ceremony in Toulouse,” Virgin Atlantic recounted.

“Just like Queen Elizabeth during her historic 70-year reign, Virgin Atlantic is proud to fly the flag for the United Kingdom around the world,” Virgin Atlantic chief customer and operations officer Corneel Koster said.

Queen of the Skies is Virgin Atlantic’s fourth aircraft of the type to have joined the airline recently. The remaining A330neo fleet consists of three other planes, including the ‘Billie Holiday,’ registered G-VJAZ, the ‘Space Oddity,’ registered G-VTOM, and the ‘Eliza Doolittle’ registered G-VLDY.

Virgin Atlantic named other aircraft types after women who made history. For instance, the airline’s year-old A350 jet, registered G-VLIB, was named ‘Lady Emmeline’ after the founder of the suffragette movement and women’s rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst.

Another one, the 1.4-year-old A350, registered G-VEVE, was named ‘Fearless Lady’ after Virgin Group founder Richard Branson’s late mother Eve Branson, who “led an incredible life, enlisting in the [Women’s Royal Naval Service] during World War II, taking gliding lessons disguised as a boy, and working as a pioneering hostess on the treacherous British South American Airways routes,” Virgin Atlantic explained.

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