Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, has announced that it is to sponsor the England-to-Australia flight currently being undertaken by disabled microlight pilot Dave Sykes.
Dave left York, England, on 28th April in a P&M Aviation Quik microlight aircraft and his journey will mark the 80th Anniversary of Amy Johnson's first-ever flight between the two countries. It will cover a distance of 21,809 kilometres and will take in 20 countries, including Muscat the capital city Oman, who Dave landed in on 28th May.
The epic journey will also raise funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a British charity which provides emergency services to remote and inaccessible areas in the north of England.
Dave Sykes started flying microlights in 2000 after a motorcycle accident in 1993 left him unable to use his legs. Since then, he has flown extensively in Europe, using specially-adapted aircraft and clocking up nearly 50,000 kilometres in the air.
Oman Air's sponsorship consists of a range of practical assistance, including ground handling and his stop-over stay in Muscat.
Announcing the airline's support, Philippe Georgiou, Chief Officer Corporate Affairs at Oman Air, said:
"Oman Air is extremely pleased to be supporting Dave Sykes in his remarkable journey between Britain and Australia.
"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.
"We wish Dave every success for the second half of his journey and look forward to both his safe arrival in Newcastle, New South Wales and to reading about his achievement in the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records."
Dave Sykes thanked Oman Air, saying:
"I am thrilled that Oman Air has offered this invaluable assistance, which will help my journey to Australia go more smoothly and allow me to focus on gathering as much support as possible for the essential work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
"I am now looking forward to reaching New South Wales and claiming the world record for a microlight flight from the UK to Australia by a paraplegic pilot."