James Bond 007 has ditched British Airways in favour of Virgin Atlantic in the new movie Casino Royale, with Branson himself making an appearance in the film.
The news follows BA’s surcharge investigation and the subsequent commercial director Martin George’s “leave of absence” which hit the airline’s reputation.
Branson’s airline has signed a deal to be a global media partner for the 21st Bond encounter with one of his Airbus A340-600 planes appearing in an airport chase sequence. Branson will make the appearance in the film along with several real Virgin Atlantic cabin crew, during a check-in sequence at Miami Airport.
Later this year, Virgin Atlantic will launch a series of marketing initiatives connected with the film, which is released worldwide on November 17. Branson and his son Sam can also be seen in this summer’s Superman Returns movie.
Virgin Atlantic, one of only four airlines flying to the US from Heathrow, has been in the headlines following an Office of Fair Trading raid on BA. Virgin had tipped off the OFT about alleged price fixing of BA flights.