Emirates Invites 30 Families For Autism Familiarisation Flight and Travel Rehearsal!

For neurodiverse children, Emirates conducted a Autism Familiarisation Flight and Travel Rehearsal programme!

by Shreya Rathod
Emirates Invites 30 Families For Autism Familiarisation Flight and Travel Rehearsal!

Emirates extended its support for accessible travel and autism awareness. They invited thirty UAE families with neurodiverse children to experience an actual check-in process and familiarisation flight on April 24 at Terminal 3 Dubai International Airport (DXB). 

Emirates Invites 30 Families For Autism Familiarisation Flight And Travel Rehearsal

emirates autism flight
Credits: Press Release

The programme was created to give the kids practice and reduce their anxiety before a trip. Also, it gives Emirates a special chance to work with important partners and gather information for more accessible travel.  Her Excellency Hessa BuHumaid, the director general of the Community Development Authority of Dubai, attended the rehearsal. Additionally, thirty neurodiverse children, ages eight to twelve, and caretakers from the New England Centre Children Clinic, the Safe Centre for Autism, the Rashid Centre for People of Determination, and the Dubai Autism Centre were present.

Emirates extended an invitation to a neurodiverse youngster with Angelman Syndrome. It is a disorder that can result in delayed development, speech and balance issues, intellectual disabilities, and seizures. Mostafa Karam, SVP of Emirates Customer Affairs & Service Audit, and Adil Al Ghaith, SVP of Emirates Commercial Operations in the Gulf, Middle East, and Central Asia, joined the organisation.

Through Dubai International Airport, the group used the Autism Friendly Route. It offers priority check-in, passport screening, security, and boarding lanes. Throughout the trip, specially trained Emirates cabin crew members and check-in personnel were available for assistance. Further, children were able to experience a realistic trip. It was complete with in-flight amenities, remarks from the captain and cabin crew, and the sounds and sights of an actual takeoff and landing. The flight took off from DXB at 11:20 am and returned at 12:20 pm.

The Airline Aims To Understand Needs Of Neurodiverse Children

emirates autism flight
Credits: Press Release

According to a study by the IBCCES, only 13% of families with neurodiverse children take family vacations. The reason being the airport and flight experience is too stressful and triggering for the children’s sensory sensitivities. Nonetheless, 93% of the families polled stated they would travel more if there were more options and resources available that were qualified for autism.

Through a guided tour of the airport and aircraft cabin, as well as comprehensive training and understanding of neurodiversity for all Emirates team members, the goal of the Emirates travel rehearsal initiative is to assist customers with autism and sensory disorders and their families in getting ready for travel. Future Emirates projects are being developed to fulfil the demands of the neurodiverse and uphold Dubai’s commitment to People of Determination. IBCCES attendees were requested to share their observations and insights regarding the in-flight experience for customers who are neurodiverse

Also Read: Emirates Airline’s Plastic Cutlery Recycling Initiative Receives International Acclaim

Together, Emirates and IBCCES are creating an official accreditation for autism-friendly in-flight experiences that may potentially be utilised by other airlines.

Cover Image Courtesy: Press Release

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