Thomas Cook Airlines, and the UK’s third biggest airport, Manchester Airport, have announced today they will be tying the knot to sponsor Manchester Pride, taking the headline spot at the Big Weekend. It is the fourth consecutive year for Manchester Airport as headline sponsor, and a first for the airline. And overseeing the wedding will be will be 2007’s Eurovision entry, Scooch, who will be performing on the Pride float.
The Big Weekend is predicted to be bigger than ever with tens of thousands of visitors expected to attend. Thomas Cook Airlines will be boosting the numbers by carrying more passengers into the city during Pride compared with last year. During the Bank Holiday weekend Manchester Airport is set to see 342,000 passengers come through its three terminals. As part of The Big Weekend, staff from Thomas Cook Airlines and Manchester Airport will be taking to the streets on Saturday 29 August for the annual Manchester Pride parade - which makes its way through Manchester City Centre from 1pm - with a colourful and eye-catching float encouraging the thousands to celebrate all things USA, to acknowledge the airline’s six American routes – Miami, New York, Boston, LA, Las Vegas and Orlando.
Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive of Manchester Pride, said:
"It's great that Manchester Airport and Thomas Cook Airlines are supporting our annual LGBT celebration. It's big news for the region that you can now fly to six US destinations with Thomas Cook Airlines. We'll be sharing this exciting news with our audience and we're really looking forward to seeing their parade entry!"
Christoph Debus from Thomas Cook Airlines, said: “Manchester is our biggest base in the UK and we have more long haul routes from here with our new premium economy cabin than any other airline, so it’s a natural fit to support The Big Weekend too. It’s going to be a massive party and we hope it’ll encourage visitors to try our US routes in particular, which are growing every year.”
Ken O’Toole, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: "We are pleased to jointly sponsor the Manchester Pride festival, alongside one of our largest airlines, as we prepare to welcome thousands of international visitors to the region over the Bank Holiday Weekend. We hope the event will be a great success and wish everyone – staff taking part and members of the public – a great time.” Thomas Cook Airlines and Manchester Airport are official sponsors of the Manchester Pride Big Weekend which takes place from Friday 28 to Monday 31 August. Tens of thousands of people from across the UK and Europe flock to Manchester’s world-renowned Gay Village for the event and to watch the parade. Thomas Cook Airlines is Manchester Airport’s biggest long haul carrier, with increased direct flights to New York and Miami from Manchester Airport. New 2016 services will be introduced, direct from Manchester, to Los Angeles and Boston with the airline also releasing new onboard premium cabins. Thomas Cook Airlines services its new US destinations with a fleet of six long haul aircraft with completely refurbished and upgraded cabins, a Premium Economy option and wider, more comfy seats, seat-back inflight entertainment and James Martin meals.
Manchester Airport is home to 60 airlines, serving 200 plus destinations and has over 22.32 million passengers a year.