In pictures: Virgin’s first themed Sydney Pride flight

written by Adam Thorn | March 7, 2021

Virgin Australia’s first themed flight to mark Sydney’s Pride Festival launched on Friday, featuring mid-air engagement, Golden Gaytimes and rainbow flags.

The Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YFT msn 41028, departed Brisbane at 12:14 PM as flight VA946 and arrived in Sydney at 2:42pm.

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Virgin said the flight, which carried 120 passengers, was operated by a LGBTQ+ cabin crew and allies and hosted by cabin crew member and “Sydney drag royalty” Penny Tration.

There was also a performance from Brisbane drag entertainers from Fluffy nightclub, Yarra Burn Prosecco signature cocktail topped with glitter fairy floss and bags of Darrell Lea Loves Allsorts liquorice, with the name changed especially.

Passenger Chris Lai then surprisingly popped the question to his long-term partner, Cédric Thiery, both from Melbourne, at 40,000 feet.

Other special guests on board included Alli Simpson, Richard Reid, Jack Vidgen, Sophie Cachia and drag queen, Maxi Shield.

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“Every year, so many of our guests fly with us for the annual celebrations in Sydney and we wanted to show them how much we support and value the community,” said Virgin chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka. “We also have many in our team who identify as LGBTQ+ and we want them to know they can come to work each day as their true, authentic selves.

“Today, our people are showing how bold and fun our airline can be with our trademark Virgin flair on full display.”

The flight was first announced last month, with tickets costing only $150 for Economy one-way and $350 for Business Class.

The special flight follows an Air New Zealand flight hosting the premiere of a documentary on Kiwi rock band Six60, and a Qantas ‘flight to nowhere’.

Last week, Australian Aviation reported how Qantas launched three flights to mystery locations departing from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The concept flights will also include a day of activity at the destination, which will be outside of major capital cities, as well as low-level fly-bys of key landmarks en route.

Chris Lai popped the question to his long-term partner, Cédric Thiery, both from Melbourne (Virgin)

It follows the success of a number of scenic flights launched by the airline in the last six months, including its ‘Great Southern Land’ trip, which sold out in 10 minutes.

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