Haiti: global air cargo effort helps thousands of people

The world’s global air cargo community is continuing to help with the massive humanitarian effort after Hurricane Matthew struck the Caribbean island of Haiti on October 4.
Rapid response aviation charity Airlink, partnering with 35 airlines and 60 non-governmental relief organisations, has sent its second, large charter flight to Haiti, packed with medical supplies.
The MD-11 freighter flight with 80 tonnes of relief cargo was operated by Airlink partner Western Global Airlines and the aid will be used to combat an increasingly dire public health epidemic in underserved areas where many people have yet to receive any international aid.
Airlink has worked for the first time with helicopters for the last mile delivery of aid from Port-au-Prince (PAP) airport to hard-to-reach locations in Les Cayes, Les Anglais, La Gonave, and other areas. Airlink used flight crews provided by Bell Helicopter.
The MD-11 had 105 pallets of supplies on board, including food aid, cholera treatment and mitigation supplies (IV solutions, antibiotics), and general medical supplies (wound care, pharmaceuticals, surgical supplies, etc.)
The aid will be distributed by members of Airlink’s network of nonprofit partners, including Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Americares, MAP International, MedShare, Partners In Health and Team Rubicon UK.
Steve Smith, executive director of Airlink, told Air Cargo News: “Haiti is in a tough spot right now with over 800,000 people in need of food urgently and 1.4m people in need assistance, which is not that far off the number needing help after the 2010 earthquake.
“Major concerns include massive funding gaps and the spread of cholera. Only a third of the necessary funding has been committed across the board and between October 4 and 19, at least 2,271 new cases of cholera were reported.”
Airlink has been working with 13 airline partners over the past month to help the affected people in Haiti, following the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew.
In order to respond to this disaster, Airlink has coordinated assets from the entire aviation community: passenger airlines, cargo logistics organisations, cargo airplanes and helicopters.
Added Smith: Our most recent flight left Miami International Airport on November 1, carrying ​80,000 lbs [36 tonnes] of food and ​80,000 lbs of medical supplies. That means Airlink has now facilitated the transportation of almost 300,000 lbs [136 tonnes] of aid to Haiti in addition to flying in 40 aid workers from 6 NGOs from various locations around the world.  
“While Airlink funded much of the relief flights to Haiti, it would not have been possible without tremendous support from United Airlines, Avianca, Copa, JetBlue, GE, Milestone Aviation, Amerijet and of course, Western Global Airlines and Bell Helicopter. 
“Not to forget the teams who worked in Miami to get cargo ready for shipment, Performance Team and Alliance Ground International. The aviation​ sector​ is showing their shared responsibility in humanitarian relief efforts through their work in Haiti, work that must continue.” 

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Established in 1983, Air Cargo News is the leading source of news, information, interviews, analyses and reports to the global airfreight industry. Our leading portfolio includes print, digital and events that give businesses in the airfreight industry the ability to connect with decision-makers in this sector.