OmniServe, the specialist provider of services for airport passengers with reduced mobility, has backed a new mobility aid endorsed by EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
The company has been working with Able-Move, a start-up business behind an innovative sling that makes it easier for passengers to get to their seats, to introduce the solution to Heathrow Airport.
The device recently won the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2018, landing founder Josh Wintersgill a cheque of £30,000.
Samatha Berry, head of innovation and regulatory compliance at OmniServ, said: “What an amazing piece of innovation – so simple yet so life-changing. We found Able Move really easy to use. It also solves the life-long quandary of how to evacuate a wheelchair passenger off a plane in case of emergency.”
Mrs Berry said the company has been supporting Able-Move with its live trials and now looks forward to supporting it moving forward.
Mr Wintersgill created the sling so that people with reduced mobility can be transferred safely, comfortably and with dignity to and from aeroplane seats.
He has spinal muscular atrophy and says he faces many physical challenges himself, but is determined to help disabled people overcome the difficulties associated with travel.
On being chosen by Sir Stelios to win the Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs, he commented: “I’m overwhelmed with emotion. Able Move now has the best possible start to its mission of improving accessible air travel for people with reduced mobility.”
Sir Stelios himself said: “I think his invention can help many people travel with more dignity and comfort. I wish him the best of luck as he will trying to scale up his business to serve the 1.3 million passengers of reduced mobility travelling in and out of the UK each year and many more all over the world.”