• Pride celebrations reached new heights after the Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic Pride Flight took to the skies to celebrate World Pride 2019
  • The flight included a performance from Tituss Burgess, star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; a set from superstar DJ Jodie Harsh and a host of drag queen performances
  • A LGBTQ+ crew looked after passengers including stars such as entertainer Courtney Act; Grammy-winning singer songwriter MNEK; Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard; model and activist Munroe Bergdorf; television darling Scarlett Moffatt and singer of the official London Pride song Saara Aalto

 

Friday 28th June, London, UK: Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic took Pride celebrations to new heights today as the UK’s first Pride Flight took to the skies, celebrating World Pride 2019 and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

Passengers were treated to six hours of Pride extravagance including a performance from Broadway musical icon and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess, a troupe of drag queens leading games, interseat dating and a set from DJ Jodie Harsh who kept revellers dancing.

A star-studded line up of celebrities joined the fun including entertainer Courtney Act; Grammy-winning singer songwriter MNEK; Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard; model and activist Munroe Bergdorf; television darling Scarlett Moffatt and singer of the official London Pride song Saara Aalto.

Also joining the momentous event was 80-year old Stonewall veteran, Tree Sequoia, who recalls the night of the Stonewall Uprising and how the world changed after the demonstrations. A true LGBTQ+ hero, Tree still works as a bartender at the Stonewall Inn in New York which stood at the site of the 1969 demonstrations.

In partnership with NYC & Company and the Alliance for Downtown New York, the flight is the beginning of Virgin’s World Pride 2019 itinerary with guests set to take part in a host of activities including a party at the One World Observatory.

Tituss Burgess, broadway star and co-host of Pride Flight, commented: “Let me be perfectly queer – the Virgin Pride Flight was an event to remember.  Singing some of my favourite songs half-way across the Atlantic  to 300 LGBTQ+ passengers is a true honour, and I’m certainly looking forward to showing off the best of New York City over the coming days.”

Jodie Harsh, DJ and co-host of Pride Flight, commented:  “There was an incredible amount of positive energy on that flight, and it really was the ultimate party in the sky. Connecting people through music is what I do best – even at 38,000 feet.”

Mark Anderson, Global LGBT Lead for Virgin Group, added:  “Virgin has long been a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, and this year we wanted to do something bigger and better than ever before.  It’s really important that we continue to recognise our LGBTQ+ staff and customers, but because we’re ‘Virgin’ we tend to do it in the most flamboyant way possible.”

Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, commented:  “'The celebrations are well underway in New York City and we look forward to continuing the party that began on Virgin’s iconic Pride Flight. As we prepare for the Pride March tomorrow, we look forward to honoring the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, reflecting on how far we have come and marking this pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history.”

Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic have long been committed to pursuing diversity and inclusion policies. In 2016, Virgin Holidays launched a three-year plan to become one of the most inclusive companies in travel with a programme addressing employees, customers and the destinations it serves.

Raffles and fundraising activities took place on-board the flight with all proceeds donated to The Attitude Magazine Foundation to advance community Pride initiatives in the UK.
For more information visit virginholidays.co.uk/prideflight or virginatlantic.com/pride.

 

-ENDS-

For more information and interview opportunities please contact tom.bacon@onegreenbean.com or 0203 196 8289

NOTES TO EDITORS:

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About Virgin Holidays:

Virgin Holidays is the UK’s favourite worldwide holiday company. Founded in 1985 on the Virgin principles of excellent customer service, value, reliability, responsibility and a sense of fun, it has used its entrepreneurial heritage and passion for innovation to benefit customers and communities around the world.  The brand is particularly known for the ‘magic touches’ it has brought to market.  From the world’s first dedicated airport leisure lounges to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean, Virgin Holidays puts its customers and the communities it works with at the heart of its commitment to do things differently. In 2015, it was voted Best Large Holiday Company to the USA, Canada and the Caribbean for the fifth consecutive year at the prestigious, consumer-voted, British Travel Awards.

 

About Virgin Atlantic:

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 35 years ago with innovation and customer service at its core. Today Virgin Atlantic carries 5.4 million customers annually, and was recently voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX two years running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, Virgin Atlantic employs over 10,000 people worldwide and operates a fleet of 46 aircraft serving 27 destinations across four continents. Alongside joint venture partner Delta Air Lines they operate a leading transatlantic network - offering up to 38 flights per day between the UK and US with onward connections to over 200 US and international cities. In 2019 Virgin Atlantic will take delivery of their first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft - helping to transform the fleet into one of the quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky. Virgin Atlantic recently achieved the highest sustainability ranking of any airline globally with an A- Leadership rating in the 2018 Carbon Disclosure Project performance assessment.

 

About NYC & Company:

NYC & Company is the official destination marketing organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nycgo.com.