EuroPride London 06 today unveiled British Airways as the official airline of Europe’s largest gay and lesbian cultural celebration, which will be hosted in London this year.

EuroPride London 06 Chief Executive Jason Pollock said: “We are thrilled to welcome British Airways on board as the latest major brand to support EuroPride London 06. As the official airline of the international festival, British Airways will be flying travellers from around the world to join Londoners for this unique celebration of diversity.

“The new Lonely Planet Guide to London describes the capital city as “dynamic and forward-looking” and “one of the most tolerant cities on the planet” – EuroPride will once again demonstrate London’s universal appeal to visitors regardless of their background.”

Jayne O’Brien, British Airways’ head of global brand and marketing communications, said: “We are very pleased to be sponsoring EuroPride, this year being held in London, one of the most exciting cities in the world and home to British Airways.

“The gay and lesbian population is an affluent group that spent some £3 billion on overseas travel in 2005. This is a great opportunity for us to remind such an important group of travellers of the benefits of BA.

“As a member of Stonewall and one of only eight FTSE 100 companies listed in the 2006 Stonewall Top 100 workplace equality index, this is also an opportunity for British Airways to demonstrate its commitment to equality in the workplace for gay and lesbian staff. “

London’s travel industry is gearing up for an influx of visitors from Europe and around the world for EuroPride, James Bidwell, chief executive of Visit London, said: “Visit London is delighted to be supporting EuroPride London 06. This year’s events are going to be bigger and better than ever before and we are looking forward to welcoming all those that are coming to experience our diverse and dynamic city during the Pride Festival. Gay and lesbian visitors are very important to London’s visitor economy and this summer’s EuroPride events will showcase London as a top gay-friendly destination.”

EuroPride London 06 is a two-week festival featuring a schedule of over 400 exhibitions, film screenings, sporting events, comedy shows, theatre performances and music concerts to showcase London’s vibrant gay and lesbian culture.

The festival will reach its climax on EuroPride 06 Day, Saturday 1 July 2006 when up to half a million people will attend a colourful parade which will for the first time pass down the London’s world famous Oxford Street and Regent Street.