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Our People

Flying in the face of ordinary - the first time

First Virgin Atlantic cabin crew and pilots

Richard Branson started Virgin Atlantic in 1984, with one plane. His commitment to challenging the status quo and putting people first has shaped his life and businesses.

He’s always maintained that the most important contributor to his business success is, and always will be, people.

Sir Richard Branson in front of a Virgin Atlantic aircraft

“If I fly on somebody else’s airline and find the experience is not a pleasant one, which it wasn’t 21 years ago, then I think, well maybe I can create the kind of airline that I’d like to fly on. So I got a second hand 747 from Boeing and gave it a go!”

Sir Richard Branson in front of a Virgin Atlantic logo

“My family brought me up to always look for the best in other people. I love people, I love spending time with people, I love learning from people.”

More about Sir Richard

As one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Richard started Virgin in 1969 as a mail-order record company. Today Virgin is an umbrella to more than 200 companies worldwide.

In March 2000, he was knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales, at Buckingham Palace for "Services to Entrepreneurship."

Sir Richard Branson and cabin crew wearing Statue of Liberty hats in New York

“The people who make up Virgin Atlantic, make Virgin Atlantic. This isn't a company that just talks about putting employees first or glibly claims that our people are our greatest asset. This is a company that simply wouldn't exist without the energy, the determination, the wit and the wisdom of our people."

Sir Richard Branson with family

“People in business who succeed have swallowed their fear and have set out to create something special, something to make a difference to people’s lives.”

Sir Richard Branson by a Virgin Atlantic aircraft engine

We’re still following Richard’s master plan today

“What really matters is what you create. Does it work or not? Does it make you proud?”