Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays have announced a three-year partnership as headline sponsors for Manchester Pride.
Last year, the airline took Pride celebrations to new heights with the UK’s first Pride Flight, in association with Attitude, which celebrated WorldPride 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, and a DJ a set from Jodie Harsh who kept revellers dancing at 38,000 feet.
This year will mark the ninth consecutive year that the airline has been the main sponsor for the Attitude Awards, which has seen the likes of Prince Harry, Whoopi Goldberg, George Takei and Dame Joan Collins all attend.
And now, they have continued to show their support for the LGBTQ community by announcing a three-year partnership to be headline sponsor of Manchester Pride Festival.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented; “Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays have long been staunch supporters of LGBTQ+ rights and we strongly believe in making our business as inclusive and welcoming as possible.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be the headline sponsor of the Manchester Pride Festival, at our home in the North.
"I am really looking forward to working with Mark and his team to use the influential power of our brand, our international footprint and our incredible people to fight for change across the world.
“As part of our growth strategy, Manchester is a major focus for us and with recent additional services to Orlando, Barbados and Las Vegas, we’re delighted to offer customers more choice than ever before. As Flybe joins the Virgin family and transforms to Virgin Connect this year, we’re excited to offer customers flying from the north 47 daily flights throughout the UK, Ireland and across Europe.”
Juha Jarvinen speaking at last year's Attitude Awards
Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said; “I am honoured for us to be partnering with an organisation that is so committed to placing diversity and equality at the heart of everything it does.
"When brands like Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays are able to carry a message across the globe in support of LGBTQ+ people it is extremely powerful and I am confident that we will work together over the next three years to drive real change both here in Manchester and around the world.”
Tickets to Manchester Pride Festival are available now. Rainbow passes start at £35 for a day pass and £65 for the whole weekend.
A rainbow pass entitles festival goers to access to two days at Manchester Pride Live and four days at the Gay Village Party over the bank holiday weekend.