Virgin Atlantic and British Airways will play a charity football match for the first time, to raise money for families affected by the floods in Pakistan.
The match will take place at 20:00 today (Friday 18th November) at Horsham Football Club.
Spectators are invited free of charge and donations are encouraged through the two airlines’ websites.
For the first time ever, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways will take to the football pitch in aid of UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) to support children and their families affected by the Pakistan floods.
The match between the rival British airlines will kick off at 20:00 on Friday 18 November at Horsham Football Club and has been organised by Kyle Reynolds, Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic and David Rees from British Airways. The two airlines are putting their friendly competition to one side to unite in the aid of these deserving charities.
Spectators are invited to come down and while entry is free of charge, attendees are asked to donate via either airline. 100% of donations made to British Airways will go to the Disaster Emergency Committee in support of the Pakistan floods appeal. By working together as a member of the DEC’s Rapid Response Network, British Airways raises funds to save, protect, and rebuild lives in vulnerable communities that are impacted by major disasters.
Virgin Atlantic will split donations between its charity partners, with 50% of proceeds going to UK for UNHCR’s Pakistan floods appeals, and 50% of proceeds going to The Smallpeice Trust, Speakers for Schools, and UK for UNHCR through the Virgin Atlantic Foundation. Virgin Atlantic partners with these charities to deliver their flagship community programme, Passport to Change, which aims to end educational inequality and increase engagement in STEM subjects. Virgin Atlantic Football Club has previously played against easyJet, Beder Football Club and Stonewall Football Club to raise funds for these partners.
The match will also be available to tune into via a livestream here. Those wishing to watch the game are asked to note their attendance on Eventbrite here. To donate through Virgin Atlantic, click here and to donate through British Airways, click here.
Estelle Hollingsworth, Chief People Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented, “At Virgin Atlantic, our purpose is to empower everyone to take on the world. Joining forces with our industry competitors at British Airways is a fantastic opportunity to put our rivalry aside and raise money for just that.
“We are incredibly proud to work so closely with our charity partners, from supporting the Pakistan floods appeal through UK for UNHCR, to investing in the hearts and minds of young people with the help of The Smallpeice Trust and Speakers for Schools. We are so grateful for every single contribution and are committed to using our business as a force for good.”
Carrie Harris, Director of Sustainability at British Airways commented, “Together with our colleagues and customers, British Airways has proudly supported the DEC for almost 10 years. Through 19 humanitarian appeals, we’ve helped raise £1.7 million so far and know how important and impactful their work is for communities around the world. The funds raised by British Airways team through this charity match are going to support the DEC’s Pakistan Flood Appeal so we’re delighted to see our colleagues taking part.”
For further information, please contact the Virgin Atlantic Press Office on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or contact the British Airways Press Office on email@example.com.
About Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2022, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the sixth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs over 7,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 29 destinations across four continents. Virgin Atlantic recently continued its expansion in the US, announcing a new route to Tampa from November 2022, following the launch of flights to Austin in May 2022.
Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. On 3 February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers. Virgin Atlantic is also set to join the global airline alliance SkyTeam in 2023. Virgin Atlantic will become SkyTeam’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.
Sustainability remains central to the airline, which is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. To meet this goal, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos in October 2022. The A330-900neos are equipped with the most fuel-efficient engines and designed to be 11% more fuel and carbon efficient than the A330-300s that they replace and deliver a 50% reduction in airport noise contour. These investments reaffirm the airline’s dedication to flying one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies, resulting in the reduction of carbon emissions by 20%, increasing to 30% in 2027.
For more information visit www.virginatlantic.com or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @virginatlantic.
About Virgin Atlantic Football Club
Virgin Atlantic Football Club (VAFC) was founded in 2021. Post-pandemic, employees of Virgin Atlantic decided to come together to raise money, on behalf of our Virgin Atlantic Foundation, founded in 2022 for our partner charities and to give the Virgin Atlantic community something to look forward to. So far, VAFC has raised over £30,000 for our partner charities, all whilst championing diversity, equality and inclusion. With companies like New Balance manufacturing VAFC’s kit and Canowater sponsoring events, VAFC firmly believes that football can bring people together while providing support for many charities.
About UK for UNHCR
UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner for the UK, building solidarity, fostering partnerships and raising funds in the UK to help deliver global humanitarian relief for refugees through UNHCR’s work. www.unrefugees.org.uk
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. It delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. www.unhcr.org
UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415).
About British Airways
As a global airline and the UK’s flag carrier, British Airways has been flying its customers to where they need to be for more than 100 years. With more than 250 aircraft, the airline connects Britain with the world and the world with Britain, operating one of the most extensive international scheduled airline route networks together with its joint business, codeshare and franchise partners.
In September 2021, British Airways launched its sustainability programme, BA Better World, committing to put sustainability at the heart of everything it does and with a clear roadmap to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. British Airways is a founding member of the airline alliance oneworld, which serves around 1,000 destinations across the globe.
British Airways flies to destinations in more than 65 countries. Its principal place of business is London, with its main home at Heathrow Terminal 5.
About Disaster Emergency Committee
When large-scale disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need its help and its mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.
The DEC’s 15 member charities are: Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK.