Virgin Atlantic celebrates India’s landmark gay sex ruling

Virgin Atlantic has become the first company in India to feature an LGBT couple in its advertising following the country’s Supreme Court ruling that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence.

The airline, known for its bold ads, has been a long-term champion of LGBT friendly tourism and plays an active role in Pride events across the UK and US. With the ruling on Section 377 decriminalising gay sex, it was the perfect chance to celebrate LGBT couples in India. The new adverts will appear from today (September 26th) across websites, social media and radio.

The new ad is part of the new Virgin Atlantic brand campaign – ‘Depart the everyday’ – which brings to life an extraordinary experience that customers can have above the clouds. The campaign includes some ‘hyper-real’ fantastical imagery, including a shot of a lesbian couple snuggling in their seat.

The campaign is rooted in the belief that Virgin Atlantic allows you to escape the everyday travel and airline category norm. It extends to the LGBT community in India who love to travel and can be themselves without fear of judgement or prejudice because of how they identify or who they love.

“At Virgin Atlantic we aim to be brave, challenging and deliver the unexpected – cutting through the monotony and tired clichés of flying the ordinary. This campaign showcases who we are perfectly,” David Hodges, country manager at Virgin Atlantic, said. 

“I’m also extremely proud that we are the first business to feature a gay couple in our advertising since the historic judgement on Section 377. At Virgin Atlantic we believe in creating a more open, inclusive and tolerant world. Whatever your sexuality you’ll always be welcomed with a loving smile from the Virgin Atlantic team and treated to the best service in the skies.”

One of India’s most prominent LGBT rights activists, Ashok Row Kavi, founder of The Humsafar Trust, added: “Be the rainbow over Virgin Atlantic. Never let it fade away for it upholds our diversity and determination. Always be the rainbow traveller with Virgin Atlantic.”

For more information and to book your next flight, head to the Virgin Atlantic website.

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