The FINANCIAL — As 2020 comes to a close, British Airways has reflected on its commitment to having a positive impact in the communities it serves across the world. The airline has published a summary of its community investment activity in 2020, highlighting everything from the huge generosity of its customers and colleagues through Flying Start, the airline’s global charity partnership with Comic Relief, to the role the airline played in helping communities respond in times of crisis internationally and in the UK, including joining the fight against Covid-19.
Thanks to the airline’s customers and colleagues, during 2020 it has continued to raise vital funds for Comic Relief. Since the partnership began in 2010, British Airways has raised over £25 million for the charity through Flying Start, reaching more than 824,000 people.
Highlights from the airline’s community activity this year include:
£65,000 raised for Sport Relief in March, with nearly 3,000 colleagues involved in a range of Sport Relief activities, including breaking a Guinness World Record for the heaviest plane pulled over 100 metres by a team made up of colleagues and sporting celebrities, as part of the airline’s Flying Start partnership
£25,000 donated to the Australian Bush Fire Appeal and free cargo space to transport supplies for animal welfare charities through IAG Cargo
Gold Status for British Airways’ payroll giving programme, a scheme designed to help colleagues support causes that are personal to them. The scheme currently generates almost £280,000 a year in charitable giving
This year British Airways joined the response against Covid-19 with a company-wide taskforce who brought their skills and expertise to communities across the UK to help the fight against the COVID-19 virus. This resulted in:
Over 1,500 colleagues giving up their time and using their skills and expertise to volunteer and support organisations across the UK, including volunteering at Covid-19 test centres and foodbanks, and helping communities and caring for those in need through charities such as St John’s Ambulance service and the British Red Cross
Over half a million (503,000) items and care packages such as washbags, pyjamas and amenity kits have been donated by the airline to 157 NHS hospitals, care homes and community groups
With the help of suppliers, over 49,000 food products have been donated to the local community including at foodbanks
In addition, this month British Airways worked with its catering supplier Baxter Storey to donate food items, equivalent to 1,000 meals from its Club and First airport lounges to communities in need through its partnership with food redistribution charity City Harvest. The donations consisted of a wide range of foods including healthy soups and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Louise Evans, British Airways’ Director of External Communications and Sustainability, said: “Despite the global crisis in aviation the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, again our customers and colleagues have gone above and beyond and have played a huge part in supporting communities in need.
“At British Airways, we’re very proud of our commitment to investing in communities across our network in the UK and overseas. In 2020 we have been able to support a number of community organisations and we are so thankful for all the support from our colleagues and customers. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped.”