Friday, 28 June 2019

VIRGIN PRIDE FLIGHT CLEARED FOR TAKE-OFF


Virgin Pride Flight 28 June 2019

  • This afternoon the Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic Pride Flight departs London Heathrow for WorldPride 2019 in New York City
  • The flight will include a performance from Tituss Burgess, star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; a set from superstar DJ Jodie Harsh and a host of drag queen games
  • Working with NYC & Company and the Alliance for Downtown New York, Virgin will deliver a full Pride itinerary including an unforgettable party at the One World Observatory in New York City.

New Delhi, 28th June: Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic are taking Pride celebrations to new heights with the UK’s first Pride Flight set to take off this afternoon, celebrating WorldPride 2019 and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Passengers will be treated to six hours of Pride extravagance including a performance from Broadway musical icon andUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess, a troupe of drag queens leading games, interseat dating and a set from DJ Jodie Harsh who will keep revellers dancing all the way to the streets of Pride. Also, on board is a star-studded line up of celebrities 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.

Organised at an international level to celebrate Pride for those countries where LGBTQ+ activity is still illegal or repressed, World Pride 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. To mark the occasion, Virgin will celebrate diversity within its business and beyond, with a a one-of-a-kind party at 38,000 feet, crewed entirely by LGBTQ+ Virgin Atlantic staff, onboard flight VS69, which takes its name from the year of the riots.

Making a special journey for the momentus occasion is 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 just the beginning of Virgin’s WorldPride 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: “Pride is the ultimate celebration of diversity and inclusivity, and what better way to celebrate it than with a party to fly the rainbow flag above the clouds? The Virgin Pride Flight is ready for take off!”

Jodie Harsh, DJ and co-host of Pride Flight, commented:  “This year’s World Pride is a hugely important one, marking 50 years since the Stonewall uprising. Although progress has been made to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people, there is still work to be done and WorldPride is a chance to make our voices heard.”

Mark Anderson, Global LGBTQ+ Lead for Virgin Group, added:  “At Virgin, we take our commitment to diversity and inclusion seriously. We also know how to put on a seriously fun party. To mark this momentus anniversary in the history and future of LGBTQ+ rights, we wanted to do everything possible to give customers the Pride experience of a lifetime. The doors are set to automatic, and welcome drinks have been poured as the Pride Flight is finally set for take-off!”

Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, commented:  “We have declared 2019 the Year of Pride, to not only celebrate World Pride and Stonewall 50 but to acknowledge the perpetual spirit of New York City's vibrant LGBTQ community. Enjoy Pride Flight and we look forward to welcoming everyone to this momentous WorldPride being held for the first time in the US.'

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 will take place on-board the flight with all proceeds donated to The Attitude Magazine Foundation to advance community Pride initiatives here in the UK.

The flight departs this afternoon (Friday June 28th 2019) from London Heathrow, flying direct to Newark Airport.

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