ALL SMILES: Sir Richard Branson lifts X Factor star, Alexandra Burke, to launch inaugural flight to Mexico
IT WAS truly a Mexican affair as Virgin Atlantic officially launched its new service between London Gatwick and Cancun, Mexico, on Saturday.
The VIP flight was packed with celebrities including X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, illusionist Derren Brown, comedian Keith Lemmon, TV personality and Entrepreneur Cleo Rocos, plus specially invited travel industry guests.
For the inaugural flight the pilot and cabin crew were decked out in sombreros and tequila shots were handed out to delight of waiting passengers.
Once landed, Virgin Atlantic president, Sir Richard Branson, who was decked out in traditional Mexican Robes, emerged on the red-carpeted wing to officially welcome the first Virgin Atlantic flight to Mexico.
He lifted special guest, Alexandra Burke, into his arms for an exclusive press shot while a traditional Mariachi band entertained the waiting crowd.
Not to be outdone, comedian Keith Lemmon stormed the photo call and proceeded to lift the media tycoon off the ground and ended up a crumpled heap on top of the laughing 61-year-old.
Joined on the flight by his mother, wife and children, Branson commented, “I am delighted to be celebrating Virgin Atlantic’s new route to Cancun. Mexico holds a very special place in my heart and it is great to be here with family and friends.
He added: “Cancun is one of the five most popular long haul leisure destinations for UK travellers and as market leaders in this area, we are pleased to add this route to our network.”
The new twice-weekly London to Cancun service becomes Virgin Atlantic’s 34th destination worldwide behind of last month’s inaugural flight to Vancouver.