British Airways (BA) has joined the Valuable 500, a collection of companies dedicated to improving conditions for disabled customers.
BA CEO Alex Cruz announced the news last Tuesday, which also happened to be International Persons with Disabilties Day.
The Valuable 500 is a global movement to make accessibility a business priority.
By signing the pledge Mr Cruz committed to include accessibility on his board agenda and will continue to support investments that improve the journey experience for customers with additional needs.
Almost half a million customers requiring additional assistance fly with British Airways each year and the airline’s analysts predict that this figure will grow by a further eight per cent year on year.
The airline has been making strides this year. January saw the launch of its biggest ever accessibility training programme, Beyond Accessibility, for almost 30,000 customer-facing colleagues to improve assistance for customers with hidden and visible disabilities.
Furthermore, in April British Airways became the first airline to be awarded the Autism Friendly Award by the National Autism Society.
Claire Mason Burnett, a member of British Airways’ accessibility team in Newcastle, said: “I have two children who are profoundly deaf so I know how difficult it can be for customers with a disability to navigate unfamiliar places such as an airport.
“That’s why I love being part of the accessibility team and providing customers with the information and reassurance they need to be able to relax and enjoy their journey.
“Lots of customers contact us because they have never travelled before and they believe their disability means they never will, and the best part about my job is being able to give them the support they need to feel confident to travel and explore the world for the first time.”