Charity

British Airways is bringing a celebration of film to customers at 35,000ft, to coincide with the EE British Academy Film Awards, taking place on Sunday 16 February.

To ensure the tens of thousands of customers in February don’t miss out, the airline is showing a selection of nominated films on board and those returning from abroad will be able to enjoy an exclusive 25 minutes highlight show on board selected flights the next day.

In honour of the upcoming Awards, the forthcoming nominated films will be showing on board: Behind the Candelabra, Blue Jasmine, Despicable Me 2, Gravity, Pacific Rim, Rush, Star Trek (Into Darkness) and The Butler.

 

Seatback tv in British Airways World Traveller cabin

In flight entertainment

From March, customers will also be able to enjoy a number of additional films, including Philomena – some scenes from the movie were filmed on board British Airways flights. It is nominated for several Awards including ‘Best Film’, ‘Leading Actress’ (Judi Dench) and ‘Adapted Screenplay’. It follows the story of a journalist who reads about a woman’s search for her son, taken away from her decades ago whiles she was forced to live in a convent.

Richard D’Cruz, British Airways’ in-flight entertainment and technology manager, said: “We offer customers hundreds of hours of the latest Hollywood blockbusters, classic and world film. We have also extended our in-flight entertainment programme, so customers can watch TV and movies from the moment they board, to the minute they land, on long haul flights.

 

“As the Official Airline partner to BAFTA, we fly stars to the Awards and work together to select the best films for our customers to enjoy. This month we are showing eight nominated films, as well as previous BAFTA-winning films including ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.”

 

British Airways customers can plan their entertainment before they fly, by visiting
ba.com/highlifeentertainment. The site allows customers to plan their films and download a schedule planner, as well as share content with friends on social media.

 

British Airways hosted a star-studded ‘Milestone in the Sky’ event at the Gherkin on Thursday evening which was hosted by huggy presenter Davina McCall. The event was held to celebrate raising over £6 million for Comic Relief through its Flying Start partnership.




Classical singer Katherine Jenkins performed a string of hits to guests, which included celebrity supporters; Bill Nighy, Lenny Henry, Shane Richie, Vernon Kay, Linford Christie, Jon Culshaw, Richard Curtis and Emma Freud.

Kathrine Jenkins (photo Miles Willis/Getty Images for BA)

Kathrine Jenkins
(photo Miles Willis/Getty Images for BA)

The event was also attended by British Airways customers and Comic Relief project workers the airline wanted to thank. It sounds like a real love in.

Brtish Airways launched Flying Start with Comic Relief in 2010 to raise money to help children living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world.

Presenter Davina McCall filmed a video for British Airways colleagues to thank them for their fundraising efforts. She said: “Congratulations to everyone at British Airways – from colleagues to customers, for raising an amazing £6 million for Comic Relief, through your Flying Start partnership.

The evening reception saw Katherine Jenkins in a yellow Suzanne Neville gown, as she performed hits including Jeff Buckley’s ‘Halleluiah’ and ‘Habanera’ from the opera Carmen by Bizet. She said: “It’s an honour to perform at such an elegant setting, made even more special by the incredible fundraisers, project workers and supporters in the room tonight.

The £6 million that British Airways has raised since it started three years ago has helped Comic Relief fund projects in the UK and around the world. Just a few of the grants awarded by Comic Relief are:

  • £200,000 awarded to Body and Soul to work with children, teenagers and families affected by HIV in London, providing support and information to enable people to face the challenges of HIV.
  • £3 million given to VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) working with the Ghana Education Service to work with communities in Northern Ghana to strive for good quality education.

British Airways’ chief executive, Keith Williams, said:

“Today marks an important milestone in our fundraising for Comic Relief, and I would like to thank the generosity of our customers, and dedicated fundraisers at British Airways for raising £6 million for Flying Start to date. I’ve visited projects to see first hand the positive change Comic Relief makes to children leading unimaginably difficult lives and these visits are some of the most humbling experiences I’ve had.”

Funds have been raised through on board collections, online donations (ba.com/flyingstart) and the option to give when purchasing flights and holidays at ba.com. The airline’s colleagues have also played an integral role, with fun runs and tug of wars, to cake baking contests and charity balls among the many creative and collaborative activities.

BA Flying start

A creative activity..

In the spirit of ‘doing something funny for money’ British Airways has even set Guinness World Records for Red Nose Day over the years, including the ‘Highest Concert’, ‘Highest Comedy Gig’ and ‘Highest Harlem Shake’.

Celebrities including Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Stravos and Son (pictured above) and Sarah Harding have all done their bit to help fundraising efforts. They have joined British Airways teams on project visits to see first-hand how the money raised helps transform lives, and have made films to inspire passengers to donate.

Through Comic Relief, Flying Start has been able to support tens of thousands of children, in projects across the world, some of these include; The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Cape Town, the Railway Children charity in India, Magic Bus in Delhi, Fight for Peace in Rio de Janiero, The Pendekezo Letu in Kenya, Project Y.E.S.S in London, the Bolton Lads and Girls club, D2 Youth Zone’s in Newcastle and North United Communities project in Scotland.

For more information on Flying Start, or to donate – visit; www.ba.com/flyingstart.