Doughnut company takes to the skies as it teams up with airline

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A Derby bakery was handpicked by one of the world’s best-known airlines for an historic post pandemic flight to New York.

Project D was approached by British Airways to provide their doughnuts for each of the 350 passengers and crew on the first flight from London to America since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only did Project D provide 350 doughnuts for the flight, it also gave away a further 2,000 doughnuts in Terminal 5 at Heathrow, where the company also set up a stand and showcased Captain Stone, their bright pink Derby Ram Trail ram.

Each of the vanilla-flavoured doughnuts were filled with British heritage raspberry jam and topped with BA’s iconic red and blue speed mark logo.

It was the first time that BA had been able to take foreign visitors to America following the country’s decision to lock down its borders 600 days ago and another New York-bound aircraft, operated by Virgin, took to the Heathrow skies, for a duel take off for the first time in commercial history.

The two airlines, who are traditionally bitter rivals, had never co-operated on such an event and the flights attracted huge media interest, with TV new crews on board to capture the moment.

Also sitting on board the British Airways plane were Project D’s founders, Max Poynton, Jacob Watts and Matthew Bond who were invited to share the historic moment as well as supplying the doughnuts.

The company took part in the flight and celebrations after it was contacted by BA’s global partnership manager, who had first spotted the firm’s products on Instagram, where Project D have 134,000 followers.

Following touchdown in New York, Project D also attended a special celebration at the Empire State Building, hosted by British Airways and NYC & Company, where guests, including Hollywood actress Blake Lively, toasted the return of UK air travel to the USA as they gazed across the skyscrapers of the Big Apple.

Poynton said: “It was pretty special. Sitting on a flight to New York – which is the home of the doughnut – watching everyone around us eating our doughnuts, which had been made in our bakery in the heart of Derby.

“It was a huge honour and really exciting. There was a huge buzz on the plane and at one point we were sitting just a few inches away from where Sean Doyle, the CEO of British Airways, was being interviewed live on the TV news.

“Then to spend the evening at the top of the Empire State Building was an incredible experience. Setting up and growing Project D has been really hard work and there have been a few setbacks along the way, but experiences like this make up for the challenges and it’s definitely one of the highlights of our company’s history so far.”