Thomas Cook Airlines and Manchester Airport take centre stage for Manchester Pride’s The Big Weekend 2016

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, which will now be known as the Thomas Cook Airlines USA Main Stage.

Thomas Cook Airlines
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It is the fifth consecutive year for Manchester Airport as headline sponsor, and the second for Thomas Cook Airlines. It is the first time either has sponsored the main stage at the iconic event, with the overall profile focusing on the unprecedented growth in direct flights to USA leisure destinations from Manchester Airport by Thomas Cook Airlines, which has its headquarters at the airport.

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Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend The Big Weekend. Thomas Cook Airlines will be boosting the numbers by carrying more passengers into the city compared with last year. During the Bank Holiday weekend Manchester Airport is set to welcome hundreds of thousands of passengers through its three terminals.

Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive of Manchester Pride, said: “It’s brilliant to have Thomas Cook Airlines and Manchester Airport back on board for The Big Weekend 2016 both as headline and main stage sponsor. Their involvement in our 2015 events was really successful and enabled us to put on some great additional events including Tram Trax USA in partnership with Metrolink which offered a unique gig on a tram between Chorlton and Manchester Airport with one lucky rider bagging themselves a weekend for two in Miami!”

Christoph Debus, chief hotels and airlines officer for Thomas Cook, said: “Last year was such an outstanding success with our customers and our employees that we can only see the benefit of partnering with Manchester Airport to support The Big Weekend again this year. We’re focusing our sponsorship on our new Boston and Los Angeles direct flights from Manchester and there will be some amazing prizes to be won. It’s going to be another massive celebration and we can’t wait.”

Ken O’Toole, Managing Director 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 28 to Monday 31 August. They are also official sponsors of the Thomas Cook Airlines USA Main 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 new services direct from Manchester, to Los Angeles and Boston starting in May. This is in addition to increasing to six flights a week to New York. Thomas Cook Airlines services its new 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 andseat-back inflight entertainment.

Manchester Airport is home to over 70 airlines, serving 210 plus destinations and has over 23 million passengers a year.

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