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Virgin Atlantic names aircraft after Suffragette leader


Virgin Atlantic has celebrated International Women’s day by naming one of its planes ‘Lady Emmeline’ after Emmeline Pankhurst, the founder of the Suffragette movement and women’s rights activist.

As the leader of the WSPU, Pankhurst’s political campaigning was instrumental in securing women in the UK the right to vote at the turn of the last century.

All charitable donations received on-board Lady Emmeline will be distributed to a selection of women’s charities, when the plane enters service next year.

Registered as G-VLIB, the Airbus A350, is due to commence flying in April 2022 and will operate on a number of the airline’s leisure routes, whisking holidaymakers to destinations including Orlando, Antigua and Barbados.

The airline has also revealed that it will name one of its A350s ‘Fearless Lady’ in honour of the mother of founder, Sir Richard Branson, who sadly passed away in January.

Described as “an entrepreneur before the word existed”, more recently she founded the Eve Branson Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of women and young girls in the Atlas Mountains as well as providing education and health care to those in need.

Estelle Hollingsworth, Virgin’s chief people officer, commented: “We’re delighted to be celebrating two fearless females this International Women’s Day. Having their names emblazoned on the side of our planes will act as a lasting reminder of their spirit and the determination to drive positive change that both of these exceptional women encompassed.

“Today, we will also be celebrating our own women in aviation. We are focused on being a fair, diverse, and inclusive employer that attracts the best talent, regardless of gender.

“We’re committed to creating an environment that allows women to thrive in the workplace, by ensuring we have a gender balance in leadership positions, as well as creating a framework for future talent to flourish.”

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