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Virgin Australia pride flights return in 2022

written by Hannah Dowling | February 2, 2022

Virgin Australia has announced that it will bring back its themed “pride flights” for the second year in a row, in celebration of the 2022 Mardi Gras festival.

After the success of 2021’s Pride Flight from Brisbane to Sydney, this year, Virgin will be conducting themed flights from both Brisbane and Melbourne, bound for Sydney.

The flights will take off on Friday, 4 March 2022, to coincide with the final weekend of the 44th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the iconic Mardi Gras Parade, due to take place on Saturday, 5 March, at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The pride flights will be hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under’s Maxi Shield and Coco Jumbo, together with award-winning Sydney drag queens Tora Hymen and Penny Tration – who also happens to be a Virgin Australia cabin crew member.

The all-inclusive tickets include a pre-flight party at the terminal, celebrity appearances, bottomless drinks, in-flight drag performances, DJ entertainment, along with rainbow flags and glitter to boot.

Virgin Australia Group chief people officer Lisa Burquest said she is proud to lead a company that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness.

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“Every year, we are fortunate to fly guests to Australia’s largest gay and lesbian celebration in Sydney, and as the ultimate festival of love, acceptance and inclusivity, we could not miss the opportunity to bring our wonderful Pride Flight celebration back again in 2022,” she said.

“This year, not only will we operate a Pride Flight from Brisbane, but we are doubling our pride services to also include the first Virgin Australia-operated pride flight from Melbourne, and we expect tickets to sell-out quickly,” Burquest said.

One-way economy tickets are on sale now for $150, while business class tickets are going for $399 one-way.

Virgin said that $30 from every sale will be donated to Minus18, a Melbourne-based charity focused on improving the health and wellbeing of LGBT+ youth.

“This year, $30 from the sale of each Pride Flight ticket will be donated to Minus18 who do incredible work in the community to lead change and build social inclusion for young people and we’re really proud to partner with them,” Burquest added.

“They say there’s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow and our Pride Flight is certainly as precious as gold,” she said.

Pride Flight host and Virgin Australia cabin crew member Penny Tration said she can’t wait to return to the skies in her red uniform, glitter and sky-high heels.

“I’ve been flying with Virgin Australia for 15 years and it’s an honour to share our team’s unique culture, the heart and soul of the airline, with you all,” she said.

“Virgin Australia has gone to great lengths to unlock its culture and harness the spirit of its people and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Pride Flight while rocking my sky-high stilettos.”

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