Relief agencies partner with carriers to send Philippines aid

Relief supplies continue to pour into the Philippines via airfreight nearly two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the archipelago.

Finnair Cargo, together with its partner Nordic Global Airlines, operated a humanitarian relief flight to Cebu, Philippines. The equipment flown will enable the Finnish Red Cross to establish more field hospitals in affected areas.

The Finnish Red Cross’ shipment, weighing 87 tonnes, contains tents, medical items and equipment for a health clinic, vehicles, pumps and generators as well as water purification equipment and other relief items, such as blankets, tarpaulins and mosquito nets.

“We are grateful to all our partners, including NGA, Finavia, Transval and our own Finnair Cargo team, for having arranged all permits and operational prerequisites in order to organize this flight to the Philippines in such a short notice,” Juha Järvinen, Finnair Cargo’s managing director, said.

Cargolux Airlines International flew two relief flights to Manila on Nov. 16 and 19. The 747 freighters carried supplies from various humanitarian aid organizations.

In addition, Cargolux also transported clothes, blankets, toys and other urgently needed items that were collected by Cargolux employees, relatives and friends, as well as by the local Philippine community and other groups and citizens of Luxembourg. In total, 17 tonnes of goods were collected.

Luxembourg recycling specialist Horsch Entsorgung supplied trucks for free that ferried the pallets from Cargolux’s collection center to the Cargo Center for loading onto the airline’s freighters.

“The swift response of my Cargolux colleagues and the charity groups in the country never ceases to amaze me. This action is a tribute to the human spirit of Cargolux,” Richard Forson, Cargolux interim president and CEO, said.

IAG Cargo has offered aid agencies the use of a freighter to fly emergency aid and supplies to the Philippines.

A B747 freighter with capacity for up to 120 tonnes of cargo flew to Manila on Nov. 18. IAG Cargo carried aid from Oxfam, Save the Children, The Reina Sofia Foundation and UNICEF.

IAG Cargo and Iberia flew six tonnes of medicines on Nov. 15 on behalf of The Reina Sofia Foundation from Spain to London to join the relief flight.

“Oxfam’s teams are already on the ground and delivering aid to some of the worst affected areas,” Jane Cocking, humanitarian director at Oxfam, said. “But we urgently need to bring more supplies in and this IAG Cargo flight will enable us to do just that, helping us to provide emergency supplies and shelter to thousands of people who are in desperate need.”

The Airbus Corporate Foundation is coordinating several humanitarian relief aid missions.

An A340-300 test flight aircraft left Lyon for Cebu with 28 logistics and emergency rescue specialists on board, plus nearly 30 tonnes of water purification equipment and energy biscuits. This relief mission was jointly organized with Action Contre la Faim.

In addition, a delivery flight of a new A321 to Philippine Airlines is being used to send a team of 10 doctors and nurses as well as 11 tonnes of medical equipment and food from Hamburg to Tacloban, Philippines, via Manila. This help has been facilitated together with Philippine Airlines, Humedica e.V. and Kühne & Nagel.

”The Philippines have been struck by a true human disaster, and it is natural that we look at all possibilities about how we can contribute in facilitating relief in this tragic situation quickly and efficientlym” Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO and chairman of the Airbus Foundation, said. ”It fills me with gratitude and pride to see our teams being engaged so strongly with our foundation partners to work towards this common objective, and I wish to thank everybody involved.”

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering’s worldwide offices are working around the clock to deliver humanitarian cargo from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

So far, more than 2,000 tonnes of aid has been delivered on behalf of Chapman Freeborn’s clients. The relief supplies include tents, water purifiers, generators, medicines, medical equipment and megaphones.

“In a time like this, our teams around the world are operating on high alert. Taking various factors into consideration – documentation, customs, slots, fuel and ground handling, etc. – we tap into our global network to deliver the best air charter solution that can deliver relief supplies to the Philippines,” Chris Vandenplas, country manager at Chapman Freeborn Belgium, said.

FedEx Corp., Direct Relief and Heart to Heart International teamed up to deliver more than US$10 million (7.4 million euros) worth of relief aid. The shipment, containing nearly 200,000 pounds (90,718 kilograms), is scheduled to depart from Los Angeles on Nov. 23.

The FedEx charter flight will fly personal care and hygiene items, pharmaceuticals and first aid kits to Cebu.

“The relief effort to help people in the Philippines presents obvious, huge logistical challenges. FedEx providing its unique airlift, logistics and medical supply-chain technical expertise is just a tremendous boost to Direct Relief’s focus on supplying critically-needed medications and medical supplies that have been requested by Filipino partners,” Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief, said. “We are deeply thankful that FedEx, as it has so often in emergencies with Direct Relief, has taken such a huge step to help Filipinos who have survived a brutal event and are in critical need of assistance.”

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