Passengers, the media and partners attended an opening ceremony on June 11th, hosted by Olga Pleshakova, CEO of Transaero Airlines, Vladimir Buryak, Deputy General Director of Sheremetyevo International Airport and Alexey Gervash, Director of the “Flying Without Fear” Centre.
At the opening ceremony, Vladimir Buryak, Deputy General Director of Sheremetyevo International Airport, said: “Sheremetyevo International Airport is committed to innovation and to creating a comfortable atmosphere for all passengers. Now, with the Flying Without Fear Centre, we have a dedicated space offering partial or even complete liberation from aerophobia (a fear of flying). We aim to help all passengers feel calm and comfortable, both in the airport and onboard the aircraft. We are delighted that we have been able to work with our partners to open Russia’s first specialized centre for psychological pre-flight aid. We are certain that the centre will help attract even more passengers for our aviation partners, many of whom will be experiencing air travel for the first time.”
Olga Pleshakova, General Director of Transaero Airlines, said: “Our company is constantly aiming to increase accessibility to air transport for different categories of passengers. Transaero Airlines is the first Russian operator to provide practical aid to those who feel anxiety or fear before a flight, and we are working with Flying Without Fear to complete a unique complex project in Russian commercial aviation, aimed at helping all passengers master aerophobia. The opening of this centre for psychological pre-flight aid is an important step towards reaching our goal of guaranteeing freedom of movement.”
Alexey Gervash, Director of the Flying Without Fear Centre, said: “Approximately 50-60% of air travellers are stressed during their flight. Aerophobia restricts our freedom of movement. The Flying Without Fear Centre at Sheremetyevo International Airport is a unique project, which guarantees timely psychological aid for passengers. There has been a great deal of research into aerophobia and in 96-98% of cases it can be solved. We have helped almost five thousand people from dozens of countries around the world overcome their fear of flying, most of whom have never felt comfortable enough to step onboard an airplane”.
The Flying Without Fear express-centre is situated on the first floor of Terminal E at Sheremetyevo International airport. A psychological aid session takes place before boarding and lasts around 30-60 minutes on average. There are three zones in the Flying Without Fear Express-centre for passengers to make use of. Each of them involves different stages of aerophobia treatment. Travellers can receive individual consultation from an aviation psychologist, who will use unique methods and modern equipment to help them overcome the panic before flight.
The Express-centre is equipped up with all the necessary simulators and modern software. For example, passengers have access to virtual-reality treatment thanks to VRET, (Virtual Reality Exposition Therapy), which is the leading computer technology used to heal aerophobia. Due to the sophisticated optical equipment, passenger feel like they are onboard a plane, which awakes the fear. This is followed by passengers being taught relaxation skills, through consistently repeating the virtual flight until the panic completely disappears.
For passengers who wish to radically change their attitude towards flying, the Flying Without Fear video course is available. This allows the passenger to watch separate parts of the course, allowing them to focus on what is most interesting for him or her, whether it be aircraft structure and turbulence, thought control skills and physiology or expositional therapy on a Boeing-737 simulator.