British Airways is continuing with its Ebay auction for tickets on its VIP party charter flight to New Orleans, organised to time with the city’s annual Mardi Gras party.

The airline recently announced it will start flying direct to the city from March 27, 2017, four times weekly from Heathrow.

To publicise the new service, BA has chartered a flight for the Mardi Gras weekend, an event on the “bucket list” for many travellers. It is selling 50 pairs of tickets on Ebay complete with accommodation and the promise of on-board entertainment. The Ebay auction will end on December 11 at 2200 (10pm).

The charter flight is on board a Dreamliner B787-8. Each package includes a pair of World Traveller (economy) tickets. Since the configuration of the aircraft is 3-3-3 the aircraft will not be sold out and seats will be left empty so pairs can sit together.

In addition, the packages include three night’s accommodation at one of three hotel options – Hampton Inn and Suites of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the Omni Riverfront or The Troubadour  (detailed on eBay) – as well as transfers and Mardi Gras grandstand parade tickets for February 25.

Prices for the package are averaging around £2,000, which compares favourably with packages available for tour operators, and those packages do not include direct flights.

The charter will depart Heathrow at 1000 on February 24, arriving into Louis Armstrong International Airport at 1400, with the return flight departing New Orleans at 2325 on February 27 and arriving into Heathrow at 1410 the following day.

On board customers will enjoy a “gig in the sky” according to the airline with jazz musicians on board, “while chefs and mixologists serve up a New Orleans inspired Creole menu and shake signature cocktails at 40,000ft”.

British Airways will also be donating 10 per cent of all auction bookings to Flying Start, the airline’s charity partnership with Comic Relief.