British Airways has raised £20 million for its Flying Start global charity with Comic Relief two years ahead of schedule.

This partnership, the first to work with Comic Relief to raise money year round, began in 2010 with a goal to raise the £20 million total by the end of 2020.

BA staff and passengers were treated to a celebratory flight to say thank you to fundraisers and generous customers who have helped hit the fundraising target.

Comedians Russell Kane, Joel Dommett and Rob Beckett performed a special Flying Start gig in the sky.

The trio entertained 140 guests during a special hour-long flight on an Airbus A320 to celebrate reaching the fundraising goal.

BA CEO and chairman Alex Cruz said: “I’m delighted that we’ve hit this wonderful milestone and what a better way to celebrate raising money for Comic Relief than with a comedy gig in the sky?

“The sum raised is testament to the generosity of our customers, the hard work of our Flying Start team and everyone that supports this work. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved – let’s keep going.”

Kane, who hosted the gig, said: “I’ve performed in many unusual venues but never at 38,000 feet. There was an amazing atmosphere with lots of laughs on board. What a great way to celebrate Flying Start raising £20 million for Comic Relief.”