April Fool’s Day is an annual custom celebrated on the first day of April which sees folk carrying out practical jokes and hoaxes. However, things are a little different this year as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe. Normally, airline Virgin Australia pulls off an annual prank.
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This year, though, the carrier has today flipped April Fool’s Day on its head, turning this prank into a reality.
Toilet paper is normally a go-to tool for any prankster.
However, loo roll is famously in short supply these days as panicked shoppers hoover up the last packets of the stuff from supermarket aisles.
Australia, in particular, is suffering a mass shortage of toilet paper.
So, Virgin Australia decided to focus on loo roll for their April Fool’s Day, only this time in a positive way.
Today, the airline announced it will rescue thousands of toilet paper rolls from 125 of its grounded aircraft and storage facilities.
They will then be donated to vulnerable members of the community via the airline’s community partners, including The Salvation Army.
Virgin Australia General Manager, Product and Customer, Sarah Adam, said: “We are known for pranking travellers each year with April Fool’s Day announcements, but we’ve decided that this year, we’ve all been punked enough by 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to temporarily reduce our flying schedule and ground 125 aircraft, which means there is a lot of toilet paper not being used, and we want to ease some of the stress that so many Australians are currently facing.
“Each year our passengers use enough toilet paper to stretch from Sydney to Los Angeles, so we’re thrilled that in true Virgin spirit, we’re going to help the elderly, the vulnerable, medical staff, and our charity partners, by giving them the supply of toilet paper that’s currently locked up in our grounded aircraft and storage facilities throughout Australia.”
Adam concluded: “On a day where the world usually anticipates what April Fool’s tricks brands might play, we couldn’t be happier to not be punking anyone today and spreading some toilet paper goodness to those who need it most.”
Toilet paper brand Kleenex is also contributing to the worthy cause.
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For every toilet paper roll that’s rescued, Kleenex will match the donation, ensuring that a number of thousand toilet paper rolls reach communities around Australia.
The Salvation Army spokesperson, Major Bruce Harmer, said: “It’s so wonderful to see such a strong community spirit in the team at Virgin Australia.
“The Salvation Army will ensure any donation of toilet paper reaches the older and vulnerable people in our communities during this unprecedented time of need,” he said.
The unusual ‘prank’ isn’t the only slice of cheer Virgin Australia has spread recently.
At the weekend, a video emerged of Virgin Australia staff dancing to Glee’s rendition of Don’t Stop Believin’.
They did the performance as the airline’s international flight departed from Brisbane for New Zealand.
All Virgin’s intentional flights were grounded on Monday but the airline Virgin Australia continues to operate a limited schedule of domestic services for the transportation of essential services, critical freight, government operations, and to support guests who may need to travel interstate for critical roles or compassionate reasons.
The airline’s international operations are scheduled to resume on 14 June 2020.
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