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Thomas Cook Airlines flies pink this October

Colleagues across the UK, German, Scandinavian and Belgium airlines will be replacing their usual gold pilots' shoulder epaulette with pink ones as part of the global FlyPink campaign to raise awareness of the disease.

Hundreds of high fliers from the company have signed up to support the charitable FlyPink initiative, tagging all their social media posts with #tcaflypink.

While FlyPink originates in Australia, this is the first time a group of airlines in Europe has joined the campaign.

It was Manchester-based Thomas Cook Airlines' Captain Linton Foat who was keen to bring FlyPink to the skies of Europe, after two close friends were diagnosed with breast cancer, one of whom went on to lose her brave battle.

Captain Foat said: "So many people are affected by breast cancer day in and day out. I saw that for myself recently when a colleague from Thomas Cook Airlines UK battled breast cancer. Very soon after that I heard news that a very close friend also went through similar treatment for breast cancer in my home country of Australia. Friends and colleagues obviously offered support to these wonderful people through a very difficult period. When I heard about the FlyPink charity in Australia I thought this was a great way of returning the kindness shown to my friends and a great way to raise awareness about breast cancer."

"I discussed the idea of Thomas Cook Airlines supporting FlyPink and every single pilot I spoke to wanted to show their support," he added.

Capt Foat said he wasn't surprised at the level of support from colleagues.

He said: "I have been in the aviation business for 23 years and it still feels like the day I joined, one big family. I've been contacted by Thomas Cook Airlines pilots not just here in the UK, but across the group all keen to support FlyPink and to get their hands on the special pink epaulettes. So throughout October, pilots at Thomas Cook Airlines will be wearing pink epaulettes to raise awareness of breast cancer, to raise some funds to fight the disease and to honour our colleagues who have been affected by it."

"We will be sharing our photos and videos online throughout October using the hashtag #tcaflypink and I encourage everyone to show their support by doing the same," Capt Foat added: "Thomas Cook Airlines is the airline with the sunny heart and I know personally that the people who work here have a caring heart. You will see that from October 1 as Thomas Cook Airlines FlyPink."

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