Virgin Atlantic 25th Anniversary to Miami

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Flights between the two cities launched in 1986 as Virgin Atlantic’s second ever route after New York. Since launch the airline has carried around 4.5 million passengers on the route contributing over $7.4bn to the Miami tourism economy. Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic and Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud on the wing of flight VS005 after landing at Miami, marking the 25th anniversary are joined by cabin crew (L-R) Victoria Lewis (US Flag) and Jessica Butler (with the Union jack). Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

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To celebrate 25 years of flying to Miami, Virgin Atlantic kindly invited me along to the celebrations, along with four photographer colleagues, a couple of TV crews and several print journalists. I always thought of Virgin as a pretty cool brand and I have to say that spending three days with the company of Sir Richard Branson, senior executives, press officers, managers and cabin crew, my suspicion of the company being cool was 100% right.

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Flights between the two cities launched in 1986 as Virgin Atlantic’s second ever route after New York. Since launch the airline has carried around 4.5 million passengers on the route contributing over $7.4bn to the Miami tourism economy. Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic and Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud, give TV interviews on the tarmac. Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Its not always one has a prop as big as a plane to play with so the photocall upon landing was fantastic with Sir Richard and the lovely Sarah Harding taking to the wing of the plane.

Although a superb assignment, it was a very packed and busy few days. After the photocall witht he plane we set off to the hotel, downloaded and did an initial edit and was then whisked off to the Versace Mansion; an amazing place indeed! I heard the voice of Ellie Goulding for the first time; amazing voice! Back at midnight and editing and sending ’till past 2am. Very tiring day!

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Drinks reception and celebration party at the Versace Mansion, Miami. Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud and members of Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew, L-R Jessica Butler, Ombi Farr, Victoria Lewis & unknown team member. Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Drinks reception and celebration party at the Versace Mansion, Miami. Singer Ellie Goulding performs at the party. Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Up early the next day to wire another set at 5am and eventually out for an 8.30am photocall with the speedboats (smaller than the plane, but equally cool as props) and our supermodel Karolina (even smaller than the plane and the boats but perhaps cooler than them both?!). A superbly scripted event which ended with Sir Richard and Karolina in the pool. Great fun.

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a "Miami Vice" themed photocall. Sir Richard Branson arrives by speedboat, whilst giving chase to supermodel Karolina Kurkova, eventually catching her and handcuffing her with gold cuffs, to a press conference announcing the launch of a new route between London and Cancun. Mondrian Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a "Miami Vice" themed photocall. Sir Richard Branson arrives by speedboat, whilst giving chase to supermodel Karolina Kurkova, eventually catching her and handcuffing her with gold cuffs, to a press conference announcing the launch of a new route between London and Cancun. Mondrian Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a "Miami Vice" themed photocall. Sir Richard Branson arrives by speedboat, whilst giving chase to supermodel Karolina Kurkova, eventually catching her and handcuffing her with gold cuffs, to a press conference announcing the launch of a new route between London and Cancun. Sir Richard Branson throws supermodel Karolina Kurkova into the hotel swimming pool. Mondrian Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Furious editing and sending in the hotel room was followed by a few outings around Miami and then to the huge party in the evening at The Raleigh with the supremely talented Ellie Goulding who was accompanied by the superb band Sway (who also played the night away). The late finish didn’t mean rest as the shots had to be edited and wired back for syndication, resulting in a 2.30am finish.

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a birthday party at the Raleigh, Miami. A firework display kicks of the celebrations. Miami, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a birthday party at the Raleigh, Miami. Singer Ellie Goulding joins the band Sway for her perfromance. Miami, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a birthday party at the Raleigh, Miami. L-R: Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud, Boxer Lennox Lewis and Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic. Miami, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Thankfully the last day was time to chill and we spent around five hours at the Soho Beach House – which I love! If you’re ever in Miami, definitely check them out.

Any media wishing to purchase images for publication can contact Barcroft Media, Polaris Images or my Photoshelter site (from which prints are also available).

2 responses to “Virgin Atlantic 25th Anniversary to Miami

  1. Just curious, did you slim your gear down to cope with planer travel, crowds etc, and for captioning, do you use photomechanic?

    Nice shots, I read your blog almost daily. Specially loved your Royal Wedding shots done in a pub.

    cheers DaleS

    • Yes I did; one often does when travelling. I had two Canon 5D MkIIs, 16-35, 24-105 & 70-200 and a couple of flashguns. Also my Leica M9 with a collapsible 50mm Elmar-M and also my Leica X1. All fitted along with my MacBook pro in a Think Tank Photo Airport International v2. I did take along a Retrospective Lens Changer 2 to work out of at he evening events.
      I use Aperture 3 for all my imaging work; so that’s ingesting into, editing, captioning, image processing, exporting from and archiving. I used to use Photomechanic around 5 years ago before I discovered Aperture. Glad you like the blog and thanks for the kind words 🙂

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