Air Partner Makes History as First Corporate Member of European Pride in Aviation Network

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Air Partner, a Wheels Up company, is the first corporation to become a member of the European Pride in Aviation Network (EPAN). EPAN supports LGBTQIA+ people in aviation by fostering a safe community and sense of belonging through the provision of tailored resources and events.

The partnership plays a pivotal role in Air Partner’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, ensuring it creates a safe and supportive space for all its employees. Air Partner’s membership to EPAN provides access to valuable training resources, roundtable events, professional mentoring and recruitment opportunities, enabling them to develop policies, initiatives, and programmes that cater to its employees’ needs and further promote equality and inclusivity.

EPAN originated in 2016 as the international chapter of the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) based in the United States and has since evolved into an individual partner organisation, carrying on the work of the NGPA throughout Europe. EPAN’s mission is to build, support and unite the entire LGBTQIA+ aviation community, representing the entire LGBTQIA+ spectrum across all areas of aviation. Since its official launch in spring, EPAN has attracted over 700 members from 27 countries, demonstrating the widespread need for a supportive community within the aviation industry.

Zac Brown, President of EPAN, commented: “On behalf of the entire team at EPAN, we are thrilled to be joining in partnership with Air Partner. As the first company to participate in EPAN's newly launched corporate member scheme, Air Partner is setting an example for others to follow that will positively influence the aviation industry. This partnership signifies Air Partner's dedication to fostering an inclusive company culture, where employees can truly be themselves and contribute to our shared vision of an industry that embraces diversity.”

The news has been welcomed by Air Partner’s LGBTQIA+ employees, who emphasise the significance this partnership holds for them.

Craig Ballard, Digital Marketing Manager, Air Partner Group said: “Showing support and actively engaging with those of us in the LGBTQIA+ community is critical in creating an authentically inclusive workplace. I’m proud that Air Partner is EPAN’s first corporate member as it shows the company really does care about LGBTQIA+ individuals, not only within Air Partner, but in the wider aviation industry.”

Katy McGrath, Senior Account Manager at Baines Simmons, part of Air Partner’s Services division, said: “In my personal life, I strive to surround myself by a supportive and accepting network of friends and loved ones. Air Partner’s advocacy for LGBTQIA+ issues and EPAN membership means that I feel supported and accepted in my professional life too. I am proud to be part of an organisation that not only flies a rainbow flag in June, but that understands that solidarity is a year-round commitment.”

Earlier this year, Air Partner implemented a Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) and Employee Advisory Panel to encourage ongoing communication and provide a platform to voices that are often marginalised. This proactive step demonstrates Air Partner's continued dedication to fostering a workplace where everyone feels heard, valued, and included in shaping the company's culture and practices.

Greg Charman, ESG Manager, Air Partner Group, commented: “At Air Partner we are fully committed to living our values. Joining EPAN as the first corporate partner represents an excellent opportunity to be setting the tone for our industry and to be part of a positive movement of change offering our people the chance to develop and grow, both personally and professionally.”