Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays are set to add a healthy dose of flamboyance to its trademark flair next year with the UK’s first Pride Flight between London and New York City.
The one-off flight will be hosted by Tituss Burgess, Broadway musical actor and star of the hit Netflic show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and packed full of special guests and live performances to make it a flight you’ll never forget.
“At a time when we’re seeing the rights of minority groups under threat, it is more important than ever we stand up and make our voices heard,” Titus Burgess said. “The LGBT community has made enormous strides over the last 50 years, and I’m so proud to partner with Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic to mark this occasion in style and celebrate the hard-won freedoms from those who came before us.”
Staffed entirely by LGBT+ pilots and cabin crew, the flight will celebrate queer culture at 38,000 feet above the Atlantic. There’ll be loads of special on-board entertainment including an on-board DJ, Drag Queen Bingo, Judy Garland singalong, inter-seat speed dating and special in-flight entertainment.
Mark Anderson, Global LGBT Lead for Virgin Group and Executive Vice President at Virgin Atlantic said: “We’re not the type of company to mark an occasion like this half-heartedly and we're going to be pulling out all the stops to ensure the Pride Flight is delivered with a large serving of Virgin flair. We take our commitments to diversity and inclusion seriously, but you can rest assured we have a lot of fun along the way. This is going to be a show-stopping, ground-breaking, one-of-a-kind experience that we can’t wait to bring to the skies next June.”
Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays are working with NYC & Company and the Alliance for Downtown New York to plan the flight, which is designed to celebrate World Pride 2019 being held in the US for the first time ever. Taking place in June 2019, the event commemorates the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall Uprising, widely regarded as a pivotal moment in LGBTQ history. World Pride is organised at an international level to celebrate Pride for those countries where homosexual activity is still illegal or repressed, with previous host cities including Rome, London and Toronto.
Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, commented: “As a City founded on diversity, inclusivity and a welcoming spirit, we’re extremely pleased to host World Pride 2019 – the first time the big event will be held in the United States, while at the same time marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Through our partnership with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays we’re delighted to invite UK LGBTQ travellers and allies to New York City to be a part of these historic events, expected to draw more than 3 million visitors and be one of the largest LGBTQ events in history.”
The flight will depart from London Heathrow on Friday June 28th, 2019, flying directly to New York City’s Newark Airport with a flexible return date on offer. Travellers can buy an Economy Light flight-only ticket from £380 by calling Virgin Atlantic on 0344 209 7777, or indulge in a full three-night package from £699 by calling Virgin Holidays on 0344 557 3859.
A portion of ticket sales from the flight will be donated to The Attitude Magazine Foundation to advance community Pride initiatives here in the UK – and further fundraising and raffles will take place on board the flight.
Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays have long been champions of LGBT rights, participating in various Pride events in the UK and promoting LGBT friendly holidays. Read more about how Virgin Holidays is working to create a culture of inclusion at the company.