Saturday, June 15, 2024

Air Travel for All: Biogen and Delta Partner on Accessible Travel Solutions

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Air travel for All is the ambitious goal of a new collaboration between Biogen, a biotechnology company, and Delta Flight Products (DFP), a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines dedicated to developing innovative aircraft interiors. This partnership aims to improve the air travel experience for passengers with reduced mobility, particularly those who rely on wheelchairs.

In the United States alone, millions of people depend on wheelchairs for mobility. However, air travel for these individuals can be a significant challenge. Kenneth Hobby, President of Cure SMA, a patient advocacy organization, highlights the importance of this initiative: “This is a meaningful step toward allowing a passenger to use their wheelchair as their airplane seat.” The collaboration seeks to address these challenges by fostering collaboration with the disability community.

Biogen and DFP plan to engage with individuals living with rare diseases and mobility limitations at community events. These interactions will be crucial in understanding their specific needs and challenges during air travel. By gathering firsthand experiences, the companies aim to identify gaps in accessibility and inform the development of solutions that create a more equitable flying experience.

Taking Flight with Inclusion: Biogen Supports Accessible Air Travel Initiative

Biogen’s involvement in this initiative reflects its long-standing commitment to supporting individuals with rare neuromuscular diseases. Kristen Fortino, Head of Biogen’s U.S. Rare Disease Franchise, emphasizes their passion for “helping advance travel accessibility for individuals with reduced mobility.” They see this collaboration as an opportunity to introduce DFP’s innovations to the communities they serve and ensure solutions are designed with inclusivity in mind.

The collaboration will showcase DFP’s groundbreaking airplane seat prototype. This innovative design allows passengers to remain in their wheelchairs throughout the entire journey, eliminating the need to transfer. During the Cure SMA Annual Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about this design and other advancements from DFP, such as improved cargo storage solutions for mobility devices.

This prototype, developed in collaboration with the AirforAll consortium, has already received recognition, winning the 2024 APEX Innovation Award for Best Cabin. Following further testing and certification by the Federal Aviation Administration later this year, it has the potential to revolutionize air travel for passengers with reduced mobility.

Air Travel

Taking Flight Together: Biogen and Delta Partner for Accessible Air Travel Solutions

Both Biogen and DFP are committed to creating a more inclusive and accessible flying experience for all. Rick Salanitri, President of Delta Flight Products, underscores their dedication to “developing new possibilities for customers with disabilities.” By encouraging dialogue with the rare disease community through the #2024SMAConference hashtag, this collaboration aims to harness valuable insights that will inform future innovations and pave the way for a more seamless and inclusive travel experience for everyone.

Biogen is a leading biotechnology company focused on developing innovative treatments for various disorders. Delta Flight Products, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, is dedicated to reimagining aircraft interiors through the design and production of innovative cabin solutions.

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This collaboration between Biogen and Delta Flight Products represents a significant step towards a more accessible future for air travel. By prioritizing the needs of passengers with reduced mobility and fostering collaboration with the disability community, this initiative has the potential to transform the air travel experience for millions.


Resource: Biogen, June 3, 2024

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