Airline company Virgin Atlantic will commemorate the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall Uprising with UK’s first ‘Pride Flight’ between London and New York. The flight, which is scheduled for June 2019 to coincide with World Pride 2019, will be staffed entirely by LGBT+ pilots and cabin crew. It will depart from London’s Heathrow on June 28, 2019, flying directly to New York City’s Newark Airport.
Onboard performances will be hosted by Tituss Burgess, Broadway musical actor and star of the hit Netflix show ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ to celebrate the queer culture 38,000 feet above the Atlantic. The journey features other entertainment, including Drag Queen Bingo, Judy Garland singalong and inter-seat speed dating.
World Pride 2019, touted to be the largest LGBT+ event in history, is expected to draw more than three million visitors to New York next year.
The Stonewall Uprising were a series of spontaneous and violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT community against a police raid in a Manhattan neighbourhood in 1969. It is revered as a pivotal moment in the LGBT+ history which led to their liberation.
Burgess said, “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.” Speaking on the Golden Jubilee of the Pride movement he said, “…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.”
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.”
Anderson added, “This (pride flight) 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.”