Branson brings mindfulness to the flight experience

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World's first meditation flight
By Jerry Brownstein
Virgin Airways flight 9900 recently departed from Sydney, Australia with a special group of passengers that included its founder Sir Richard Branson, members of the media and a team from the Smiling Mind meditation group. All guests were treated to a hot towel service and hand massages before Smiling Mind led them in a guided meditation at 10,000 metres. According to Branson, “We want to encourage more passengers to use their time flying with Virgin to exercise their minds through the meditations on our inflight entertainment system. What better way to make this known than by holding the world’s first dedicated meditation flight.”

This new partnership between Virgin Australia and Smiling Mind will give all passengers access to Smiling Mind’s guided meditations, with the aim of reducing stress and anxiety during air travel. Virgin is also supporting the wellbeing and mental health of its staff by making the Smiling Mind workplace meditation program available to all of its employees. In addition, the airline has announced a new way for anxious travellers with fear of flying to receive personalised attention from specially trained staff members.  

Sir Richard sums up this new program thusly: “Integrating mindfulness into our everyday lives is just as important as eating well and exercising regularly. I am excited to see Virgin Australia deeply embedding mindfulness into the workplace and onboard flights. We are very focused on supporting the mental health of our passengers and team members.”


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