Airlink provides airlift for Ebola outbreak

  • David Harris
  • August 27, 2014
  • 0

Airlink is a non-profit disaster-relief organization, supported by many of the companies in the airfreight and express industry. In fact, many of you who subscribe to Cargo Facts and visit this website probably work for, or lead, companies that support this effort. Here is an example of the good that comes of such support…

Airlink Ebola response 02Airlink  secured a charter jet, funded by an anonymous donor, to fly emergency medical aid from five of the nonprofit organizations in their partner network to Monrovia, Liberia. The cargo included medical protective gear for workers on the frontline of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

ATX Air Services, LLC, a subsidiary of the Hillwood Development, provided the 737 charter to transport critically needed medical protective equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves and other medical supplies from their home base of Ft. Worth, Texas to Monrovia, Liberia, with an interim stop at New York’s JFK airport to load additional aid.

The flight left JFK on Tuesday, August 26, carrying a 15,000 pound payload, and was manned by two volunteer crews, flying back-to-back and rotating to keep rested. On board were four pilots, a mechanic and a load master. The flight will touch down in Monrovia, unload its humanitarian cargo, refuel and immediately take off for the return flight.

Steve Smith, Executive Director of Airlink commented, “With the supply chain significantly contracted by many carriers deciding not to fly into West Africa at this time, we are particularly appreciative of the efforts of ATX Air Services. Many of our NGO partners have told us we are the only avenue for them to deliver aid.”

Speaking on behalf of ATX Air Services, General Manager Scott Bohnenkamp praised the crew remarking, “I had no problem getting the crew for this mission. I had six slots to fill and I had six volunteers willing to donate their time and efforts.”

Non-profit organizations sending the much needed supplies in the airlift are: AFYA Foundation, AmeriCares, ChildFund International, Direct Relief and MedShare. Other Airlink partners providing logistical support on the ground are: UPS, FedEx, ALAN, LIFT and Rock-IT Cargo.

About Airlink: Airlink is a 24/7 disaster response organization that links pre-vetted NGO’s with airlines for air and cargo transportation. Through the Airlink program, disaster response teams can be mobilized to affected areas in a timely manner; disaster victims can receive delivery of necessary relief, supplies and the support that ultimately will help them rebuild their lives.  Airlink’s reach is global, with an air transportation network that is constantly expanding as crisis, natural disasters, etc. are on the rise around the world.

Airlink has supported humanitarian initiatives on every continent. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink’s airline partners have flown approximately 3,400 passengers and transported over 800,000 lbs. of cargo.

The program depends on volunteers from the aviation community and new volunteers are always welcome.  For more information, please visit www.airlinkflight.org.  Click through to AIRLINK Partners to view a current list of Airline and NGO Participants.  Follow Airlink on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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