A special rainbow version of Thomas Cook Airlines’ heart logo has been introduced to the livery of a long-haul aircraft to support Manchester Pride.

The Airbus A330 embarked on its first journey with the colourful logo last week on routes to destinations such as San Francisco and New York from Manchester airport.

The airline first adorned one of its carriers with this symbol of its commitment to and support for LGBT+ people last year in celebration of its sponsorship of the charity’s The Big Weekend event.

The airline is headline sponsor for The Big Weekend, which forms part of the Manchester Pride Festival which takes place on August bank holiday weekend, for the fourth year in a row.

Manchester Pride chief executive Mark Fletcher said: “Once again, we’re thrilled to see the LGBT+ logo take to the skies in such a unique fashion.

“We’ve been so lucky to be able to work with Thomas Cook Airlines on this exciting project for the second time and it’s just one of the many ways we can all help spread the message and show support for LGBT+ people across the world.”

The carrier’s managing director Paul Hutchings said: “Having received such a positive response from our customers to the rainbow version of our sunny heart logo last year, we couldn’t wait to top it in 2018 by featuring it once again – this time on an even larger aircraft.

“By branding one of our long-haul planes means our flying ambassadors and our support for the LGBT+ community will be seen internationally.”

Thomas Cook Airlines is also official sponsor of “The Thomas Cook Airlines Stage” which will see headline performances this year from Rita Ora, Jake Shears and Alexandra Burke.

The new logo takes several hours and a team of specialists to create on the aircraft.