Home / News / World /  Queen of the Skies: Virgin Atlantic names plane after ‘unforgettable’ Queen Elizabeth

In honour of Queen Elizabeth II and her 70-year reign in the UK, British airline company Virgin Atlantic has named one of its aircraft on the late monarch. Virgin Atlantic is reusing the phrase "Queen of the Skies" as it names new Airbus A330neo after the late Queen Elizabeth II although the now-discontinued Boeing 747 once carried the designation.

Virgin Atlantic has a long tradition of naming its aircraft in honour of remarkable women, including Diana, named after Princess Diana. Lade Emmeline (G-VLIB), a ship of Virgin Atlantic's current fleet, is a tribute to Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the suffragette movement and an advocate for women's rights.

The song Fearless Lady (G-VEVE) honours Richard Branson's late mother Eve, who founded Virgin Group. Eve led a remarkable life, joining the WRENS during World War II, taking flying training while pretending to be a boy, and serving as a trailblazing hostess on the perilous BSA routes.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth travelled extensively, stopping in more than 120 different countries before she passed away in September 2022. The livery is painted with a picture of a woman with red hair wearing a dress that is the signature red colour of Virgin.

“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. We’re delighted to soon be welcoming ‘Queen of the Skies’ to our fleet and hope that it serves as a fitting tribute to an unforgettable, much-loved monarch," Corneel Koster, chief customer and operations officer at Virgin Atlantic, said.

The fourth Airbus A330neo to enter Virgin Atlantic's fleet is named Queen of the Skies. Eliza Doolittle (G-VTOM), Billie Holiday (G-VJAZ), and Space Oddity (G-VLDY) are the other three. Virgin Atlantic has placed an order for 12 new Airbus A330neos to join its fleet as part of its commitment to operating the cleanest, greenest fleet in the sky.

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