NHS front line staff treated to ‘first-class lounge’ by grounded airline crews

Apr 9, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

They’re calling it “Project Wingman” — one crew coming to the aid of another.

Grounded flight deck and cabin crew from British Airways, BA CityFlyer, EasyJet and Norwegian have come together to create a first-class lounge-like space in the Whittington Hospital in Highgate, North London for front line NHS workers.

At the lounge, crew are serving tea with a smile, and in full uniform, to NHS staff before, during or after a gruelling shift battling the global coronavirus pandemic.

Sign up for the free daily TPG U.K. newsletter for more news.

Project Wingman - Airline crew together with staff from Whittington Health (Photo by Whittington Health NHS Trust)
Project Wingman – Airline crew together with staff from Whittington Health (Photo by Whittington Health NHS Trust)

Launched last week, Project Wingman is the result of a call to arms by Captain Dave Fielding of British Airways and Captain Emma Henderson of EasyJet after Consultant Clinical Psychologise Rob Bor and his team came up with the idea.

“We immediately thought of airline staff and reached out to them to support us”, Bor said. “Many airline crews have been grounded by the global effects of Covid-19 and we recognised that this represents a rich resource of a uniformed and disciplined workforce, used to problem-solving and providing care”.

Related: Looking past coronavirus — TPG’s Brian Kelly on the future of travel

Crew will also be lending an ear for those NHS workers who might need some downtime to relax, or someone to talk to offload about the gruelling situation that they’re facing. Pilots are highly trained technical professionals, but they also know a thing or two about coping under pressure and during stressful situations.

According to a press release, the airline crews will not be working directly with coronavirus patients.

In collaboration with HelpForce, the NHS Trust is planning on recruiting more volunteers to roll the programme out to wherever it may be needed.

Featured image by Whittington Health NHS Trust.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.