In The News
Read Our Press Releases and News Items Below
Read Our Press Releases and News Items Below
Western Global Airlines has partnered with Airlink to bring relief supplies to Haiti in wake of Hurricane Matthew.
Airlink's press release: Download PDF
Airlink Expands Relief Mission to Haiti in Support of the Underserved Survivors of Hurricane Matthew
--Western Global Charter Flight Will Include 175,000 Pounds of Aid Supplies--
--Two Bell Helicopters Add ‘Last Mile’ Logistics Capabilities
for Personnel and Cargo Moves--
Washington, DC (November 1, 2016) - As part of its expanded end-to-end air transportation solution to Hurricane Matthew, Airlink is sending its second, large charter flight - packed with medical supplies - to Haiti. The flight will be operated by Airlink partner Western Global Airlines and 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. To help deliver some of these resources the “last mile” from Port-au-Prince (PAP) airport to hard-to-reach locations in Les Cayes, Les Anglais, La Gonave, and other areas, Airlink will work with two helicopters and flight crews provided by Bell Helicopter. 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.
“We see this crisis is still growing, even weeks after the storm, and we know from reports from our team on the ground that the cholera situation is a major threat to recovery,” said Steve Smith, Executive Director of Airlink. “The flights we are organizing will put critical aid in the hands of trained personnel and delivered where needs have yet to be addressed.”
The charter flight with Western Global Airlines will leave Miami-Dade International Airport on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 11 a.m., with 175,000 pounds of air cargo. The MD-11 cargo plane will carry 105 pallets of supplies including food aid, cholera treatment and mitigation supplies (IV solutions, antibiotics), and general medical supplies (wound care, pharmaceuticals, surgical supplies, etc.).
“Once again, we see the aviation sector stepping up and working together to support those in need. We welcome Bell Helicopter and Western Global to the fold and could not do this without them. These organizations join the likes of United Airlines, General Electric, The GE Foundation, JetBlue, Avianca, Copa Airlines and Amerijet in our combined support of the Haitian people in this response,” said Smith.
“It is a top priority of Western Global Airlines to provide relief missions in times of need. International disasters present a particularly important challenge that airlines can help solve. Cargo flights like these become essential to the rapid response and long term relief, especially for crucial medical aid that needs to be on-site in a timely manner. Having previously flown our MD-11 freighters for Airlink on many missions to West Africa to help combat the Ebola crises, we are proud to again join the Airlink network in this mission to Haiti,” said Jim Neff, President and CEO of Western Global Airlines.
Airlink is also working with Bell Helicopter which has dispatched two helicopters, including a Bell 429 and a Bell 412. Each aircraft will have a two-person crew, including pilot and maintainer. The aircraft are capable of delivering both aid and personnel to hard-to-reach locations in Haiti.
“Bell Helicopter is proud to support this important effort to help the people of Haiti,” said JJ Cawelti, Bell Helicopter’s senior manager of public affairs. “Helicopters allow us the ability to get to places where others cannot go. And, we’re happy to work with the network of nonprofit organizations Airlink has assembled to deliver much-needed aid as quickly as possible.”
Based on demand from its non-governmental organization (NGO) partner network of nonprofit humanitarian aid groups, Airlink has established a “end-to-end Solution,” including charter airlift and helicopter transport in support of defined requirements from the ground. Airlink’s role is to facilitate and coordinate the transportation of aid and responders with the authorized NGOs in Haiti, Haitian Government officials, customs authorities, airlines, ground handlers, charter brokers, general aviation aircraft, rotary assets, and other logistics providers and coordination entities, such as the UN-WFP Logistics Working Group.
Airlink’s partner, American Aid Logistics Network (ALAN), is currently operating a US-based staging and warehousing facility near the MIA airport to receive and consolidate aid cargo from NGO’s. These services are being provided by Performance Team in Miami, a long-time ALAN partner. Airlink is transporting aid workers and disaster relief cargo from the US to PAP. Airlink will facilitate last-mile transportation of aid and aid workers by fixed-wing aircraft, a cargo configured helicopter and a personnel carrier to Jeremie (JEE), Les Cayes (CYA) and/ or other designated areas as required. The helicopter assets will be based at Port-au-Prince airport. Two Airlink personnel are in Haiti directing operations.
To support Airlink’s response to this and other disasters, please visit www.airlinkflight.org.
Airlink is a 24/7, rapid-response disaster and humanitarian relief organization that links pre-qualified nonprofits with partner airlines for passenger and cargo transportation. Airlink’s rapid response business model supports the delivery of the right aid to the right people at the right time. With a global air transportation network that is constantly expanding as crises and natural disasters continue to occur around the world, Airlink has supported humanitarian initiatives on every continent. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink’s airline partners have flown over 4,000 passengers and transported approximately 2,500,000 pounds of aid cargo. For more information, please visit www.airlinkflight.org.
The Largest Animal Airlift in History Successfully Brings 33 Rescued Lions Home!
Animal Defenders International (ADI) has successfully orchestrated the largest animal rescue airlift in history this weekend, by transporting 33 lions rescued from 10 Peruvian and Colombian circuses to the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. ADI, an animal rescue organization founded by husband-and-wife team Tim Phillips and Jam Creamer, has rehabilitated and relocated more than 100 former circus animals under Operation Spirit of Freedom. Creamer said, “We are delighted that these lions who have suffered so much will be going home to Africa where they belong. The climate and environment are perfect for them. When we visited Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, we knew this is a dream come true for ADI and, more importantly, the lions.”
Sanctuary founder Savannah Heuser expressed her gratitude for being involved in such a groundbreaking operation. “I cannot start to comprehend the endless days [of] suffering that these animals had to endure,” Heuser said. “They have a lot of lost time to make up for. They will live out the rest of their lives in a natural habitat, the closest they can ever come to freedom.”
The lions made it home safely to Africa aboard an MD11F cargo aircraft owned and operated by Western Global Airlines www.WesternGlobalAirlines.com . Logistically, this was not an easy task: The Western Global MD11F first collected 9 lions from Bogota airport, and then flew to Lima airport to collect 24 more lions, before continuing on to Johannesburg. After the lions were eased into their travel crates, they were carried by the ADI team on trucks and loaded by cranes onto pallets that were then gently placed into the cargo airplane. An ADI veterinary team monitored animals throughout the flight.
The rescue was made possible thanks to ADI’s tireless work with the Peruvian and Colombian Governments, who due to evidence of animal abuse have imposed bans on the use of wild animals in circuses. While there are no more wild animals suffering in circuses in Peru, the Government of Colombia has asked ADI to help with a further 75 exotic animals which remain with other circuses, and are now illegal. Mexico has also passed their ban on wild animal circuses and have been in talks with ADI about the arrangements for releasing those animals from the circuses.
Now that they are on the ground in South Africa, the lions will be rehabilitated in the 5,000-hectare sanctuary that is already home to eight rescued lions and tigers, has a no-breeding policy, and is not open to the public. Their forever homes will have acres of natural bush (a separate habitat for each family or pair) with watering holes, platforms, trees, vegetation all safely secure behind double electric fencing (outside is included to prevent access by other animals).
It is inspiring to see individuals bravely stand up together to accomplish challenging feats to do right by animals who have suffered. Offering hope and redemption to these kings and queens of the jungle proves that by working together, humanity can solve even the most difficult tasks, like airlifting 33 lions across the globe! Indeed, ADI and Emoya are making the commitment to these animals for life – they will be provided with food and clean water each day, toys and straw bales for amusement, and their separate bonding (management) camps will enable vets and carers get up close to check for any injuries or other health issues.
Youtube video of the Rescue: https://youtu.be/cNFICfbyHCw
Links to donate: lionsbacktoafrica.org
Over the course of the last 45 days we have flown for Asiana Airlines and on behalf of the United States Postal Service. We will also be flying for UPS during this month.