Airlines sponsor a lot of events and activities, but this occurrence really caught my attention.
Oman Air will sponsor Dave Sykes's record-breaking microlight flight in his P&M Aviation Quik microlight aircraft (above) from the UK to Australia, the so-called "Kangaroo Route" normally served by the likes of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747.
Sykes, who is a paraplegic microlight pilot, left England's York on 28 April on a journey to mark the 80th anniversary of Amy Johnson's first-ever flight between the UK and Australia, Oman Air says.
Upon arrival in Newcastle, New South Wales in Australia, Sykes says he will be able to claim the Guinness Book of World Records title for a microlight flight from the UK to Australia by a paraplegic title. But it is not just bragging rights Sykes will achieve: he is also raising money Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a British charity which provides emergency services to remote and inaccessible areas in the north of England.
Sykes's journey to Australia will be 21,809km over which he will visit 20 countries, including Oman, where he landed last week and when Oman Air announced their sponsorship (photo, below).
Sykes started flying microlight aircraft in 2000 after a motorcycle accident in 1993 left him unable to use his legs, Oman Air says. Since then, he has flown extensively in Europe, using specially-adapted aircraft and clocking up nearly 50,000km in the air.
"Dave's courage and strength of character are a true reflection of the pioneering spirit of aviation, so it is particularly fitting that Oman Air is able to support him. As the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, we are committed to helping people achieve their full potential and Dave's determination to overcome the challenges that life has thrown at him is an inspiration to all, both within Oman and beyond," says Oman Air's chief of corporate affairs Philippe Georgiou.
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