IN BRIEF | James Bond is back in the air with Virgin Atlantic, after Sir Richard Branson's airline inked a new sponsorship deal for the forthcoming 007 film Skyfall.
Once upon a time the oh-so-English secret agent preferred British Airways.
But when Daniel Craig inherited the famed licence to kill in Casino Royale, Virgin Atlantic swooped in with a sponsorship which reflected the rebooted 007's shift from a staunch 'Rule Britannia' attitude to a more modern 'Cool Britannia'.
Not only did Bond pick up a Virgin Atlantic frequent flyer card, but Sir Richard Branson scored a brief cameo in that first Daniel Craig-as-Bond flick.
Eagle-eyed viewers will recall the scene as one of Bond's foes enters Miami Airport to plant a bomb on a fictional 'Skyfleet' commercial aircraft.
Villain walks through the security gate on the left, while Anonymous Passenger standing arms-spread at the right is none other than Sir Richard Branson.
Just don't bother trying to catch this scene if Casino Royale is offered as an in-flight movie by Qantas or British Airways – both airlines edited the movie to remove Branson's fleeting and uncredited guest appearance.
Update: AusBT reader and obvious Bond fan Chris Neugebauer writes to say that Bond isn't exactly the most loyal of travellers, pointing out that 007 has previously flown with Pan Am, Air France and even Lufthansa. So we'll know the Bond movies are facing budgetary problems when we see 007 on board Ryanair or Tiger...