350 cyclists race Air Canada flight to Toronto in Heathrow’s Race the Plane charity challenge

  • Heathrow’s second annual Race the Plane charity challenge kicks off as 350 cyclists race a flight in real-time
  • Air Canada flight 896 departed from Heathrow to Toronto this morning with cyclists already having raised over £94,000 for charity
  • All donations to be shared among Heathrow’s charity partners – Oxfam, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and the Heathrow Community Fund


In the second year of Heathrow’s Race the Plane charity challenge, 27 teams of cyclists are hoping to race 3,546 miles faster than the time it takes for an Air Canada Boeing 777-300 to reach Toronto. This year’s event has already raised over £94,000 for Heathrow’s charity partners.

Air Canada flight AC869 took-off from Heathrow’s Terminal 2 this morning as 350 cyclists prepared to clock-up enough miles to beat it to Toronto. The challenge is taking place on stationary wattbikes underneath the iconic Slipstream sculpture and participants and spectators can track their progress in real-time on social media with the hashtag #RaceThePlane.

All money raised will be split equally among Heathrow’s charity partners – Oxfam, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and the Heathrow Community Fund.


Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

Race the Plane is one of Heathrow’s biggest charity events of the year and with over £94,000 already raised before the flight takes off it has been a huge success! It’s not going to be easy racing a plane travelling at nearly 600 miles per hour, but with our charity partners Oxfam, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and the Heathrow Community Fund cheering us on – I’m confident we’ve got a shot a beating Air Canada flight 869 on its way from Heathrow to Toronto.”


Captain Deane Taneda from Air Canada said:

“Air Canada is proud to be a part of today’s Race the Plane challenge at London Heathrow. As the Flight Captain for flight AC869 from London to Toronto, I am extremely impressed that over 350 people have given up their free time to take part in this incredible race to raise money for three important U.K. charities. With over 3,500 miles to cover it will certainly be no mean feat. We wish the cyclists the very best of luck.”

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