Manchester Arena bomb survivors set off on Disneyland Paris treat

Families affected by the Manchester Arena bombing are being treated to a festive day out at Disneyland Paris with comedian John Bishop.

Some of the youngsters who were at the fateful Ariane Grande concert in May, or were affected by the atrocity, were welcomed on board by Bishop and cast members of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks on a special early-morning British Airways charter flight from Manchester Airport.

When they arrive in Paris, the youngsters will meet two more famous faces in Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright.

Pilot Bruce Cleghorne and co-pilot Ralph Turan pose for a photograph (Peter Byrne/PA)
Pilot Bruce Cleghorne and co-pilot Ralph Turan pose for a photograph (Peter Byrne/PA)

It is the fifth time British Airways and Disneyland Paris have teamed up to organise a magical day-out, but the first from Manchester.

The trip is part of British Airways' celebrations to mark the airline reaching a landmark £17 million raised for Flying Start, its global charity partnership with Comic Relief, since 2010.

The money has helped Comic Relief fund projects in the UK and around the world, including the Youth Factory Zone in Manchester which is sending 10 youngsters on the trip.

Disneyland Paris (Ian West/PA)
Disneyland Paris (Ian West/PA)

Mary Barry, British Airways' community investment manager, said: "We wanted to give some of the families a Christmas day-out, to have fun and meet some of our celebrity ambassadors.

"We are very grateful to Disney for agreeing to work with us once again and to all the celebrities for giving their time to come with us."

British Airways and Disneyland Paris have been working with the Red Cross and Love Manchester to identify which families to take on the trip.

Annabel Altmann, senior manager of Disneyland Paris corporate citizenship, said "We are proud to be partnering with British Airways for a fifth year in a row, giving over 50 people from Manchester a fantastic day trip before Christmas and helping to support Flying Start."