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Virgin Hoidays to celebrate 25 years in Florida

Press release May 20, 2010 Tourism

First Ever Liveried Plane

Virgin holidays

Virgin Holidays, the UK’s leading holiday company to Florida, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010 with its first ever liveried plane. The aircraft, a Virgin Atlantic 747-400, was officially revealed by Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson at London Gatwick Airport today before departing to Orlando with over 350 Virgin Holidays customers aboard.

In celebration of Virgin Holidays’ status as the UK’s official holiday company to Universal Orlando Resort, home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – which opens on 18th June and promises to be the hottest new travel destination of the year – the plane features the official logo of the park emerging from an atmospheric cloudscape.

Virgin Holidays began services to Florida with a charter service from London to Miami in 1985. Since then, the company estimates it has flown in excess of 10,000 return flights to the Sunshine State, carrying more than 2.5 million customers over 60 million miles. Last year, 100,000 travelled on direct services from Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow, enjoying, on average, 11.5 days of Florida’s unrivalled mix of sun, beaches, theme parks and leisure activities.

Amanda Wills, Virgin Holidays Managing Director comments that: “This is an emotional day for us. Twenty-five years is a landmark for any company and it is wonderful to be able to mark the anniversary with this bold statement of our commitment to our founding destination. As the UK’s leading tour operator to Florida, our customers expect us to stay ahead of the game. This aircraft, plus the special benefits our customers can enjoy from our alliance with Universal Orlando Resort, again demonstrates our willingness to innovate to ensure they experience something unique.

Florida is a firm favourite of our customers and with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter next month, there’s never been a better time to see the Sunshine State.”

Speaking at the unveiling, Sir Richard Branson said: "Reaching 25 years is a fantastic milestone for Virgin Holidays, and I am extremely proud to be here to share in the celebrations. The travel industry is in the business of creating special memories, and everyone at Virgin Holidays can look back a successful quarter century of doing just that. Virgin Holiday's alliance with Universal Orlando Resort is just one reason why our holiday makers can be assured that there will be plenty more truly magical memories to come!"

Simon Presswell, Managing Director of Universal Parks and Resorts EMEA, said: “We are thrilled to see this amazing new aircraft begin service to Orlando in celebration of Virgin Holidays and Universal Orlando Resort’s fantastic alliance. With The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening soon, our customers will experience unique and exciting benefits.”

As the UK’s official holiday company to Universal Orlando Resort, Virgin Holidays customers will be able to take advantage of a number of exclusive, spell-binding benefits when visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including…

·    Early park admission to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions
·    Free parking at Universal Orlando Resort for a full day
·    Complimentary breakfast
·    Commemorative free gift