Painting a red schnoz on an aircraft might seem quirky, but it’s delivering results for children around the world as British Airways customers and staff have raised £20 million (about R384 million) for the Flying Start Partnership with Comic Relief since 2010

That money has supported more than 620 000 people in poor communities and provided vaccinations to 100 000 children across sub-Saharan Africa.

  • South Africa:  funding for Mothers2Mothers, a project that helps to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies.
  • Kenya:  A project that aims to empower girls to address gender-based violence.
  • Ghana:  Though a technology bootcamp and accelerator programme for those who come up with viable business ideas, it has encouraged women to build careers in IT
  • Mozambique: Money collected through British Airways Flying Start will be used to support people affected by the Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, to provide emergency shelters, essential food, water purification tablets and health assistance.
Money will be allocated to support the victims of the recent cyclone in Mozambique

Unveiling the red-nosed aircraft, Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO, said: “We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with Comic Relief. What better way to get involved in Red Nose Day than to fly a giant red nose on one of our aircraft? The funds raised so far are testament to the generosity of our customers and hard work of our Flying Start team.”

The airline aims to reach £25 million (about R480 million) by the end of 2020. Of this £2 million (about R38 million) will be invested in projects that focus on early childhood development in communities British Airways flies to. Its continued support for Mothers2Mothers will enable it to launch new project work in Ghana.

Liz Warner, CEO at Comic Relief, commented: “British Airways has given us tremendous support since the Flying Start partnership began in 2010. Hitting the £20 million mark a year ahead of schedule is an incredible achievement and we are extremely grateful.”