Thomas Cook Airlines and Manchester Airport take flight for Manchester Pride’s The Big Weekend 2017

Thomas Cook Airlines, and the UK’s third biggest airport, Manchester Airport, have announced today they will be returning as headline sponsors of Manchester Pride’s The Big Weekend. As well as sponsoring the four day event, the pair will also be sponsoring the main stage again, which will now be known as the “Thomas Cook Airlines USA Stage”.

It is the sixth consecutive year for Manchester Airport as headline sponsor, and the third for Thomas Cook Airlines. It is the second time they have sponsored the main stage at the iconic event, with the overall profile focusing on new direct flights to San Francisco from Manchester Airport by Thomas Cook Airlines, which has its headquarters at the airport.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend The Big Weekend. During the Bank Holiday weekend Manchester Airport is set to welcome hundreds of thousands of passengers through its three terminals.

The airline and airport will again have a Manchester Pride Parade entry, plus they plan to take a space in the Expo, which will be dedicated to talking to visitors about equal employment opportunities available at Thomas Cook Airlines and Manchester Airport

Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive for Manchester Pride, said; “We have true partners in Thomas Cook Airlines and Manchester Airport and couldn’t wish for more committed or supportive sponsors. Last year’s activity was a massive success and we can’t wait to see the Thomas Cook Airlines cabin crew connecting with our audience on the ‘The Thomas Cook Airlines USA Stage’ in August.

I’m looking forward to building on the successful partnership in 2017 as we work together to promote The Big Weekend and the new routes to the USA that Thomas Cook Airlines serve directly from Manchester Airport.

Christoph Debus, chief hotels and airlines officer for Thomas Cook, said: “Last year was such a great party and we want to go even bigger and better this year to celebrate the amazing diversity in our communities and to strengthen the connection we provide between the North West and our seven direct routes to the USA.”

Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: "We are pleased to jointly sponsor Manchester Pride’s The Big Weekend, alongside one of our largest airlines, as we prepare to welcome thousands of international visitors to the region over the August 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 Manchester Pride’s The Big Weekend which takes place from Friday 25th to Monday 28th August. They are also official sponsors of “The Thomas Cook Airlines USA Stage”. 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 a new service direct from Manchester, to San Francisco starting in May. This is in addition to a host of USA flights including LA, Boston, Miami, New York and Las Vegas. Thomas Cook Airlines serves its US destinations with a fleet of seven long-haul aircraft with completely refurbished and upgraded cabins, James Martin meals, Premium class cabin and wider, comfier seats and seat-back inflight entertainment.

Manchester Airport is home to over 70 airlines, serving 210 plus destinations and has more than 25 million passengers a year.