Astral Aviation teams up with Airlink for disaster relief shipments

Astral Aviation B757-200F. Photo: Astral Aviation

Astral Aviation has agreed to transport 50 tons of humanitarian aid over the next year as part of its first memorandum of understanding (MoU) with disaster response nonprofit organisation Airlink.

Airlink will utilise cargo space on Astral Aviation’s flights to support the movement of humanitarian aid across the cargo airline’s network.

The organisation has already leveraged this partnership in order to support a shipment of medicines and medical supplies to South Sudan.

The supplies were donated by Airlink’s NGO partner, Partners for World Health, to an additional member of Airlink’s network, IMA World Health, and will be distributed in flood-affected regions in the Greater Upper Nile region, as well as in health facilities along South Sudan’s border with Uganda.

Kenya-based Astral Aviation operates a network that connects East Africa to the Middle East, Asia, and Europe via hubs in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Dubai. The agreement will enable nonprofit Airlink to support humanitarian relief efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“As Astral Aviation we see the partnership with Airlink as an important opportunity to support some of the humanitarian efforts in the Sub-Saharan region so as to help alleviate the suffering on some of the war-ravaged and disaster stricken population,” said Sanjeev Gadhia, chief executive of Astral Aviation.

“The humanitarian nonprofit community is under huge resource pressures stemming from Covid responses, the war in Ukraine, inflation, and economic downturns. Airline commitments like the one Astral Aviation is making allow Airlink and our nonprofit partners to react to immediate needs. It also enables us to support communities with long-term recovery and systemic issues, such as in healthcare,” said Steven Smith, president and chief executive of Airlink.

Nonprofit Airlink builds partnerships with aviation sector businesses, like Astral Aviation, to provide free air transport and logistical coordination to a network of 150 humanitarian relief and disaster response nonprofits.

Airlink said since 2010 it has saved its nonprofit partners over $12m in air transport costs, resources which these nonprofit network partners could redirect to buying humanitarian aid and funding service delivery.

In 2022, Airlink responded to more than 40 emergencies, providing transport for 1,300 skilled responders, and over 1,400 tons of humanitarian aid. The aid they transported reached more than 12.5 million people.

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]