British Airways raises £6 million for Comic Relief, hosts star-studded event

British Airways, the UK’s national carrier, has hosted a star-studded ‘Milestone in the Sky’ event at the Gherkin, London, on December 5, to celebrate raising over GBP6 million for Comic Relief through its Flying Start partnership.

Classical singer, Katherine Jenkins, performed a string of hits including Jeff Buckley’s ‘Halleluiah’ and ‘Habanera’ from the opera Carmen by Bizet. Guests included celebrity supporters Bill Nighy, Lenny Henry, Shane Richie, Vernon Kay, Linford Christie, Jon Culshaw, Richard Curtis and Emma Freud. Hosted by presenter, Davina McCall, the event was also attended by British Airways customers and Comic Relief project workers.

Katherine Jenkins 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.’

Brtish Airways launched Flying Start with Comic Relief in 2010 to raise money to help children that live unbelievably tough lives in the UK and around the world. Through Comic Relief, Flying Start has been able to support thousands of children, in projects across the world, including The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Cape Town, the Railway Children charity in India, Magic Bus in Delhi, and Fight for Peace in Rio de Janiero, among others.

British Airways has raised £6 million since it started three years ago. Comic Relief has awarded £200,000 to Body and Soul to work with children, teenagers and families affected by HIV in London, while £3 million has been donated to VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) working with the Ghana Education Service for good quality education in Northern Ghana.

Davina McCall filmed an exclusive 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!’

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 GBP6 million for Flying Start to date.’