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Tata Madiba’s legacy of freedom lives on – in the skies

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, Virgin Atlantic has named its newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft ‘Lady Freedom’ in honour of the former South African president’s legacy of freedom and equality.

A “formidable and unexpected” friendship was formed between Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson and Mandela more than two decades ago, according to a press release from the airline – the pair even share the same birth date. 

“We’re delighted to add a bit of South African heritage to our fleet,” says Liezl Gericke, Head of Middle East and Africa for Virgin Atlantic. 

“Former President Nelson Mandela fought for freedom and equality – two values that are strongly shared by Virgin Atlantic – and so it seems only apt that we name one of our beautiful 787 Dreamliners after this legacy.”

The new aircraft took off for the first time in May 2018 and features a number of unique features: it reportedly produces 20% less carbon dioxide emissions than a similarly-sized plane, has onboard WiFi in all cabins, and flies at a lower altitude (with higher humidity levels) to reduce jetlag.

The airline will also give all charity donations collected on two of its flights (the VS601 and VS602) between London and Johannesburg to The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund during the month of July. The fund works to better the lives of children and youth living in South Africa.

Celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy with Virgin’s special fares

Virgin Atlantic is offering celebration sale fares for Economy Classic, Economy Delight and Premium Economy flights to London and Europe, starting from R2,790 excluding taxes, for travel between 29 October 2018 and 31 March 2019 (excluding travel during the holiday period from 10 to 24 December). Children pay 75% of the adult fares; infants, 10%.

Contact your nearest Sure Travel Agency to enquire or book before 31 July 2018, or call 0861 47 48 49.

*Note: Date of departure from South Africa determines the seasonal fare to be charged; rates are subject to change without notice.

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