Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

United Airlines partners with Virgin Australia to connect US travelers to world's largest Pride celebration in Sydney


United Airlines partners with Virgin Australia to connect US travelers to world's largest Pride celebration in Sydney
United Airlines is collaborating with Virgin Australia to connect US travelers to the world's largest Pride celebration in Sydney via a special flight staffed entirely by LGBTQ+ community members and allies.

The festivities will begin with a celebration at the gate on Wednesday, February 22 and will continue with giveaways and activities onboard the flight, culminating with a welcome party upon arrival in Sydney. While Virgin Australia has been offering Pride-themed domestic flights in Australia since 2021, this is the first time United has joined the effort. United also made a $25,000 donation to the Trevor Project to support their mission of assisting LGBTQ youth.

"As a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community and the leading carrier from the U.S. to Australia, United is thrilled to join the party and help people celebrate the upcoming Pride events in Sydney," said Lori Augustine, Vice President of Operations for United in San Francisco. "At United, we recognize, embrace and celebrate the differences that make our customers and employees unique. We're committed to creating an inclusive work environment while supporting the diverse communities we serve. Our Pride Flight is yet another example of how at United, Good Leads the Way."

"Virgin Australia launched our initial Pride Flight in the middle of the pandemic and fast forward to today, we have flights all over Australia, and our very first international Pride Flight from San Francisco with our wonderful partner, United Airlines," said Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO for Virgin Australia Group.

"It's so important that we use our voice to promote diversity and inclusion in the communities in which we live, work and fly. Our partnership with United Airlines is incredibly important and it's so wonderful to witness the collaboration between the airlines, and the joy we have brought our guests in spreading pride right across the Pacific and throughout Australia."

United has a long history of supporting LGBTQ+ equality, including a number of firsts. In 1999, United was the first U.S. airline to fully recognize domestic partnerships, and in 2019, it was the first U.S. airline to offer non-binary gender options across all booking channels. In addition, in recognition of the airline's commitment to LGBTQ+ equality, the airline became the first public company to be inducted into Pride Live's Stonewall Ambassador program in 2019. More than 4,500 members of EQUAL, the airline's LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group, work together to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, collaborating with members and leaders across the company to develop new ways to deliver resources, education, and advocacy.

United remains committed to inclusion and empowering employees to be their authentic selves at work, which is why, in 2021, the airline updated its appearance standards, moving away from gender-specific guidance and allowing customer-facing employees to represent themselves authentically through visible tattoos, nose piercings, hair, make-up, nails, and other body modifications.

United is Northern California's global airline, with more flights to more destinations around the world than any other airline. United operates over 200 daily departures from San Francisco International Airport, transporting customers to over 100 destinations worldwide, including the most international service, with flights to 26 different international cities.

United is the country's leading carrier to Australia, with flights to three Australian cities via SFO: Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. United operates more flights to Australia than any other airline and offers more seats from the United States to Australia than any other airline.

Customers will have new connecting options to Australia's most popular destinations thanks to United's partnership with Virgin Australia, and MileagePlus® members will be able to earn and redeem miles/points across both airlines' networks.

United Flight 863 will take off from SFO at 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and land at SYD at 9:05 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.