Delta Air Lines’ annual “Breast Cancer One” employee survivor flight takes flight on Thursday, kicking off the airline’s month-long campaign to generate awareness and raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This year marks Delta’s 11th annual survivor flight, which will carry more than 140 employee breast cancer survivors on board Delta’s newly painted pink plane on the flight’s first international route from New York City to Mexico City.
Delta recently repainted its iconic
“As Delta continues to focus on expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean, we are proud to showcase on a global scale, our commitment to finding a cure,” said Sandy Gordon, Delta’s Vice President – In-Flight Service. “Our 80,000 employees worldwide look forward to this campaign each year and rally together to find new, innovative ways to generate awareness and funds for BCRF. We are grateful for our employees and customers for their continued passion and support as we work together to eradicate breast cancer.”
The employee survivors, along with Delta leaders and BCRF executives, will travel from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Mexico City International Airport. Survivors will be celebrated and honored during a gatehouse event in New York and an event in Aeromexico’s hangar in Mexico City.
Colleagues from Delta’s partner airline Aeromexico will also take part in this experience, showcasing the international scope of the effort to end breast cancer.
For the second year in a row, select Delta customers who are breast cancer survivors or currently under treatment for the disease and their guests will also join the flight. Delta customers were encouraged to share stories of the person who provided tireless support during their journey through the airline’s Unsung Hero social media contest. As a result, two customers and their unsung heroes were chosen to join Delta employees on this year’s flight.
In addition to the Unsung Hero contest, Delta also held a SkyMiles Experiences online auction, where three customers donated a total of 263,071 miles, which will go directly toward BCRF and its efforts. The three customers, along with their guests, will also be a part of the flight, totaling 10 total customers on board.
In Mexico, survivors will be treated to an overnight stay which will include dinner and a meet-and-greet with Dr. Sofia Merajver, one of BCRF’s world-renowned researchers. Nearly 80 percent of the Delta employees involved are first-time participants.
“Delta has been instrumental in advancing the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s mission to be the end of breast cancer,” said Myra Biblowit, President of BCRF. “Their passionate and dedicated employees worldwide are a driving force in the eradication of this disease. Delta’s commitment is clear: over the last decade, they have solidly moved the dial on raising awareness and saving lives through research.”
Since 2005, Delta employees, customers and their friends and family members have raised more than $9.2 million for BCRF, including last year’s efforts of $1.3 million. The collective contributions have also funded the vital work of 37 different research projects over the years.
To further raise awareness and support for breast cancer research, Delta employees will wear pink uniforms and sell pink products, including pink lemonade and pink headsets, on board and in Delta Sky Clubs throughout the month of October. Proceeds from the airline’s pink products will benefit BCRF.
Delta’s international Boeing 767-400ER, which has adorned a pink-themed livery since 2010, was due for a repaint this year. As a result, teams in Delta’s Marketing department as well as those in Delta’s TechOps division worked together to design a refreshed look while taking advantage of a unique paint formula to wrap the fuselage in a pink ribbon. In 2012 the aircraft was formally dedicated to the memory of Evelyn Lauder who founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993. The aircraft flies international routes and will raise awareness for BCRF around the world this year. Delta’s first pink plane was a Boeing 757 that flew between 2005 and 2010 throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean to generate awareness for the cause.