Virgin Atlantic is marking International Women’s Day by renaming two of its A350s after two ‘iconic’ women, suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst and Eve Branson, Richard’s mother, who died in January.
‘Lady Emmeline’ will pay tribute to the Manchester-born founder of the Suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst, whose political activism helped secure women in the UK the right to vote in 1918. 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.
Fearless Lady is inspired by Richard Branson’s mother Eve, who was described as “an entrepreneur before the word existed.”
Her eventful life included enlisting in the WRENS during World War II, taking gliding lessons disguised as a boy and working as a pioneering air hostess on the treacherous British South American Airways routes.
In later years 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, chief people officer at Virgin Atlantic, 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.”
(Image: Virgin Atlantic)