The new design is being applied to all of Virgin Atlantic's 38 aircraft and is being showcased on a Boeing 747-400. Virgin Atlantic has...

Virgin Atlantic Airways has unveiled a new aircraft livery and brand identity for the airline.

The new design, which will be applied to all of the company’s 38 aircraft, signage, communications and advertising is being showcased on one of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 747-400s, G-VROC.

“We’re a dynamic and innovative British company and our new livery will really make us stand out from the crowd, both in the sky and on the ground at airports all over the world,” says Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic. “Despite the most challenging economic conditions that we have encountered for some time, this is just one of many design projects that Virgin Atlantic has invested in. We have been working behind the scenes with British designers to re-ignite our brand and are developing new designs for the entire fleet of A330s due to come into service next year.”

Virgin Atlantic Airways is adopting this new livery across its entire fleet of 38 aircraft. It has developed the new design in time for the new colors and branding to appear on Virgin Atlantic's new fleet of Airbus A330-300s, which are being delivered from 2011. The first aircraft to be painted in the new color scheme is one of Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 747-400s, an aircraft registered G-VROC

Adds Ridgway: “Virgin Atlantic has a strong history of investing during downturns and we believe that our new livery and the forthcoming delivery of the Airbus A330-300 signals another period of growth for the airline.”

The Virgin Atlantic name, previously on the front end of the fuselage, is now emblazoned large across the whole of the aircraft in a fine custom-drawn font. In addition, the undercarriage of the aircraft now features the new Virgin Atlantic logo in dark purple – making the aircraft more easily identifiable when taking off and landing. The winglets are now red with the Virgin script on the inner side, visible to passengers on board the plane.

The new livery uses an entirely new paint system which is unique to Virgin Atlantic – a first on commercial aircraft, according to the airline.  It has been specially developed to achieve a highly reflective depth of metallic color.

The painting process has been simplified, using fewer maskings and applications for a drastic reduction in materials used. Only a little over 450 liters of paint was used to paint the 747-400 and the job of painting the aircraft took over 3,000–3,500 man hours to complete.  The new paint is more durable so aircraft will only require re-painting once a decade, ssays Virgin Atlantic.

The iconic, flag-carrying flying lady, who appears on all Virgin Atlantic aircraft, has been rejuvenated with a subtle cosmetic makeover and enhanced detailing – she now flutters a larger Union Jack.

London brand agency Circus was commissioned in 2008 to review and refine the Virgin Atlantic brand values. The new livery and logo were developed by design consultancy Johnson Banks, in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic’s in-house brand design team (led by Joe Ferry and Nina Jenkins). The airline’s new identity was created using the brand values defined by Circus.

“Virgin Atlantic makes every day a happier day. It is a tonic for the soul – delivering great product, and great experiences for customers all around the world,” says Dilys Maltby, senior partner, Circus. “Virgin Atlantic constantly challenges itself to see and do things differently and, through this piece of work, demonstrates its spirit of adventure and exploration.”

“We’ve tried hard to retain the essential elements of Virgin Atlantic’s first 25 years and refine them for the future.  We’ve adapted the ‘tail fin’ to make it easier to use and to reflect a simpler and more elegant shape,” comments Michael Johnson, creative director for Johnson Banks. “The logotype has been replaced with a thinner and more elegant design that reinstates the pride in Virgin Atlantic’s full name, and supplies more flexibility across a myriad applications.”

Says Joe Ferry, head of design for Virgin Atlantic: “It is essential that we set a firm, confident foundation for the future of the Virgin Atlantic brand, one which is relevant in the new commercial environment. It’s critical that we portray and live our differentiating brand values. Last time Virgin Atlantic launched a new livery and corporate identity was in 2005.”