LONDON--Virgin Atlantic is making a rare foray into the PR agency market, as it gears up for a confidential new consumer project.

The airline is understood to have called for agency submissions regarding a six-month project supporting the launch of a new product in 2012.

The RFI did not reveal the exact nature of the product. However, it is understood that the project will target high net-worth individuals and business travellers. One agency source suggested a relaunch of the Upper Class premium cabin may be on the cards, which would be the Virgin's first since 2003.

Virgin does not often hire agency support for its public relations needs, although it did tap Blue Rubicon for strategic counsel during Paul Charles’ tenure as global communications director.

Charles departed the airline in 2009, succeeded by former Travelodge comms director Greg Dawson.

It is understood that agencies specialising in travel and tourism have been contacted for the brief. A Virgin representative declined to comment, saying that details of the project remain “highly confidential.”