The newly-designed aircraft will make its first flight on 1 June to Ibiza, Spain, and be decked in the colours of the pride flag, both on the exterior as well as the interior cabin.
In a bid for Luxair to help develop an inclusive culture and spread such a message Europe-wide, the airline has teamed up with Rosa Lëtzebuerg, a local non-profit dedicated to promoting LGBTIQ+ community rights.
“Luxair is very proud to present its newest aircraft livery, spreading a positive and inclusive message all around Europe and beyond,” Luxair CEO Gilles Feith said. “Inclusion is a fundamental value of Luxair, whether internally (among employees) or externally (towards customers). Through the exchange, the inclusion and the celebration of diversity in all its aspects, we achieve growth as individuals and as a company.”
One aircraft, a De Havilland Q400-LX-LQC, will now showcase this inclusion with a design concept by Rosa Lëtzebuerg board member and Luxembourg Pride coordinator, Andy Maar, who told Delano he’s an artist by hobby.
At the same time, Luxair said it is launching a range of merchandise--including t-shirts, mugs, key chains and pins--to commemorate pride month. The merchandise will be available starting Wednesday, 2 June, in Luxair travel stores, its headquarters as well as in the departure hall of the Findel airport. All profits will be given to Rosa Lëtzebuerg.
It’s not the first time Luxair has partnered up to design an aircraft for impact. Last summer, the airline partnered with Luxembourg artist Christian Pearson, aka Sumo, to paint one of its Boeing 737-800s and a De Havilland Q400--a move which Feith told Delano was to “develop a mood [and] have people feel fresh [and] light again.”
As part of the new campaign, Luxair is encouraging its staff to wear “Luxair coulours for Luxembourg pride”, according to a spokesperson.
Rosa Lëtzebuerg, committed to improving the legal situation for LGBTIQ individuals, helps collect data each year for the advocacy group Ilga Europe's rainbow map and index. This year, Luxembourg once again placed third in the ranking, although it dropped by one percentage point compared to the previous ranking, to 72%. Even if the grand duchy kept its spot, Rosa Lëtzebuerg recently wrote of the “unprecedented stagnation over the past 12 months” in terms of LGBTIQ rights. The local organisation sees gaps when it comes to the legal recognition of non-binary people as well as the need for immediate recognition of co-parenthood for same-sex parents.
According to Maar, the organisation’s work was greatly impacted as a result of the health crisis, “mainly because there aren’t as many gathering possibilities”, which in normal years includes a pride walk, special events linked to the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia, having information stands in the capital, etc.
But he has been impressed by Luxair’s commitment to LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusion, given that the airline was amongst the companies to contact Rosa Lëtzebuerg for workshop trainings in this domain.
The “Be Pride, Be Luxembourg” partnership not only helps with awareness-raising. “It helps [Luxair] employees themselves because they see it’s an open-minded company, they can be like they are on one hand,” Maar said. “On the other hand, they also show to the public that the company is living those values.”
In a press release, Rosa Lëtzebuerg president Tom Hecker thanked the airline for its support. "We are extremely pleased that Luxair has taken the initiative and consulted us to not only increase the company's internal policy on acceptance of queer employees through discussions and workshops, but also to implement various approaches to improve customer service at the same time," Hecker said. "Furthermore, with an aircraft that will be visible in the pride colours at home and abroad for several weeks, a visible sign of the openness of the company as well as of Luxembourg will be set."
The partnership coincides with Rosa Lëtzebuerg’s 25th anniversary year.