Pride events are a celebration, a party and a great day out. More importantly, they’re a movement born of a struggle for recognition and inclusion. It’s a serious message wrapped up in the most glorious, colourful, joyous celebration of what makes us good human beings.

Virgin Atlantic and Manchester Pride. A great partnership


At Virgin Atlantic, being thoughtful, caring and open-minded is at the heart of everything we do. Travel is about broadening your horizons and exploring the planet. It’s about having a world view, a healthy curiosity and appreciation for the joyous kaleidoscope that is the human race. We cherish all of our customers and people and want them to feel respected and appreciated in return.

Manchester is a city we love and we love to fly from. The Manchester Pride Festival is one of the world’s leading celebrations of LGBTQ+ life. It's run by the Pride charity whose vision is a world where LGBTQ+ people are free to live and love without prejudice. It takes place over the August bank holiday. We're the lead sponsor again this year, so we can't wait to be there. But ahead of the weekend, we chatted to a few of our LGBTQ+ people along with Emily, a key ally. We wanted to know what Pride means to them, what still needs to be done and learn more about their life at Virgin Atlantic. Click on each link to find out more.

Jude Ota

Jude works in our customer care team and talks about the overwhelming feeling of acceptance, love and seeing both those from the LGBTQ+ community and allies come together during Pride. 

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Natalie and Lauren

Lauren and Natalie met at Virgin and describe Pride as a place where people can come together and party without being judged, or feeling like they need to be something different.

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Nick Rowbotham

Cabin Crew Nick Rowbotham on why Pride becomes a voice for those people who feel that they don’t have one, an his proudest moment - crewing our Pride flight. 

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Nick Johnson

Nick heads up our Pride@VirginAtlantic internal network. In his interview he uses some hard hitting examples to demonstrate how far we’ve still got to go. 

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Emily Stephen

Emily talks about being an LGBTQ+ ally and her work in our Be Yourself and Community team 

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Juha Jarvinen

Juha is our Chief Commercial Officer and executive sponsor of our internal Pride network. This is his story and his thoughts on Pride. 

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G-VPRD, - Rain Bow, one of our Airbus A350-1000 aircraft is named in honour of our Pride@VirginAtlantic network and all our LGBTQ+ customers and staff.

“At Virgin Atlantic, when people ask about my weekend, I talk about what I’ve been doing with my boyfriend rather than saying ‘my partner’. That’s really important to me. I’d be less happy if I couldn’t be fully myself. I’d undoubtedly be worse at my job too, given authenticity and the ability to build genuine relationships is important for all our roles.” - Anthony Woodman VP – Customer Journeys & Reward

The logo for PRIDE@VirginAtlantic, our internal networking group that brings together Virgin Atlantic's LGBT+ community and their allies.

Make sure you check out the Manchester Pride website before heading there. Due to Covid some of the events are a bit different this year. It’s still going to be fabulous though, and don't forget to say hello to our crew who will be here there and everywhere.

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We’re committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all of our people – including current employees and those who apply to come and work for us. We aim to create a working environment in which you’re all able to make the best use of your skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit. We won’t discriminate against anybody on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. This policy applies to all aspects of our relationship with you and to your relations with colleagues at all levels. This includes job advertisements, recruitment and selection, training and development, opportunities for promotion, conditions of service, pay and benefits, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures and ending employment. The principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity also apply to the way in which all our people treat those outside the business, including visitors, customers, suppliers and former employees. We all have a duty to treat our colleagues with dignity at all times, and not to discriminate against or harass colleagues, regardless of their status.