A total of £17 million has been raised by British Airways for its Flying Start charity partnership with Comic Relief since 2010, the airline revealed yesterday.
The funds have been raised through onboard collections, online donations and by staff fundraising and organising events including challenges, gala balls, golf days, danceathons, comedy nights and sporting events.
The money raised since 2010 has helped Comic Relief fund projects in the UK and around the world.
The £17 million has helped more than 500,000 children and young people who lead tough lives both here in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest communities.
Celebrities including Rowan Atkinson, Sir Ian McKellen, Rob Brydon and Thandie Newton have helped fundraising efforts by participating in BA’s latest safety video and encouraging customers to donate their spare change to Flying Start.
The video, first aired on board flights in September, has attracted 7.8 million views on YouTube alone.
In the weeks following the video launch, there was a 20% increase in donations on board. The airline hopes that the video will help the partnership to exceed a goal of raising £20 million by 2020.
BA has created an infographic to show 17 items that Comic Relief provides all over the world.
Stars will be uniting on the red carpet at a special event at the British Museum in London today (November 16) to celebrate the achievement and Comic Relief’s work.
The event will be hosted by TV presenter Claudia Winkleman and comedian Lenny Henry, with some of the airline’s customers, fundraisers and charity partners in attendance.
The airline’s chief executive Alex Cruz said: “We are delighted to have raised £17 million for Comic Relief through Flying Start, and I would like to thank the generosity of our customers and dedicated fundraisers at British Airways.
“I’m looking forward to visiting one of the projects that Comic Relief is supporting in South Africa later this month,”
Comic Relief chief executive Liz Warner said: “British Airways has been an excellent partner for Comic Relief.
“The airline’s passengers and staff have raised £17 million over the past seven years to go towards our projects.
“And it has been done with great initiatives from a world record breaking celebrity ‘gig in the sky’ to the recent truly original celebrity safety video.
“The support of British Airways and its passengers has helped us change lives both here in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest communities.”
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