BA staff swaps planes for boats in aid of charity

British Airways staff at Gatwick are coming down to earth in an attempt to travel 124 miles in five days for Comic Relief.

Ramp service agent, Jim Hunnisett and his colleagues will be swapping fast jets for slower paced canoes as they attempt a sponsored paddle along non tidal water from June 24.

Now they are hoping to recruit other volunteers from inside and outside the airline to take part and help raise thousands of pounds for Flying Start, British Airways’ global charity partnership with Comic Relief.

Participants can take part in just one sector, up to 24 miles, or the whole relay from Lechlade to Teddington, camping overnight near locks. Support vehicles will follow the canoes to track their progress and manage supplies.

Anyone who wishes to take part will have to attend training and river paddle technique sessions to build up stamina and will need to get their own sponsorship.

Organisers are hoping at least 10 canoes will take part in the relay with some of the paddlers travelling in tandem.

Jim said: “We have plenty of activity planned at Gatwick for Comic Relief so we decided to do something that members of the public can join in as well outside the airport. We already have willing volunteers from British Airways but we wanted to open it up to other people so that they can be part of Flying Start.”

Anyone who would like to take part should contact Jim at

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