Love soars on Virgin Australia’s debut Pride Flight

Virgin Australia passengers and crew prepare for the Pride Flight
Virgin Australia
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
5 March 2021

Pride was celebrated sky high on Virgin Australia’s first-ever Pride Flight, ahead of the country’s largest annual LGBTQ+ celebrations this weekend – including the legendary Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney.

The one-off flight from Brisbane to Sydney carried more than 120 passengers and was operated by LGBTQ+ cabin crew and allies. Special guests on board included model Alli Simpson, reporter Richard Reid, singer Jack Vidgen, Instagram star Sophie Cachia and celebrity drag queen, Maxi Shield.

Richard Reid, Jack Vigden, Sophie Cachia and Alli simpson stand in front of a rainbow backdrop
Virgin Australia

Hosted by Australian drag royalty and veteran Virgin Australian cabin crew member Penny Tration, the flight featured all the glitter, rainbows and sky-high stilettos you’d expect of a Pride event.

Before takeoff, guests were treated to a pre-flight party, with performances by Penny Tration and some of Brisbane’s favourite drag entertainers from Fluffy nightclub. There were food and drinks aplenty, including a Yarra Burn Prosecco signature cocktail topped with glitter fairy floss, and bags of Darrell Lea Loves Allsorts liquorice – the first time in history that the Australian confectionery brand changed the name of its iconic sweets in support of diversity and inclusion.

Passengers on Virgin Australia's Pride Flight wave rainbow flags
Virgin Australia

Onboard the flight, the party continued with mid-air drag performances, bottomless beverages and in-flight games, including seat pocket bingo.

The ultimate showstopper occurred shortly before the aircraft landed in Sydney, testifying that love was truly in the air on the Virgin Australia Pride Flight. Chris Lai popped the question to his long-term partner, Cédric Thiery, who, of course, said yes – and the pair were engaged at 40,000 ft. Congrats to the happy couple!

Chris Lai and his new fiance Cedric Thiery
Virgin Australia

Pop by Virgin Australia to find out more, and have your glow sticks at the ready for primetime Pride partying this weekend.