Washington, DC
5/19/2014
Joining Airlink’s partners, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways, Airlink announces that AirAsia is the newest airline to make a forward commitment of capacity to facilitate the organization’s work in disaster response. AirAsia has committed to provide ten flight hours on an Airbus A320 in response to a humanitarian disaster that occurs in Southeast Asia in the future. The aircraft will be dedicated to transporting up to 180 relief workers and 8 tons of relief cargo to the affected areas.
 
“We are truly impressed with the generosity that AirAsia, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have extended in support of Airlink’s efforts to expedite air transportation for its NGO partners (Non-Governmental Organizations) around the globe,” commented Steve Smith, Executive Director of Airlink. “Their willingness to commit forward capacity is an important development for Airlink. It allows us to provide faster turnaround to our NGO partners after a request is made, which is critical in their mission to save lives and relieve suffering.”
 
In November 2013, Alaska Airlines donated one million frequent flyer miles to Airlink to use at its discretion for humanitarian relief.  The airline chose this approach to help Airlink respond more rapidly to disasters and to help NGO partners mobilize volunteers when Alaska Airlines personnel may not be available to respond quickly enough to an NGO request via Airlink to help save lives.  “Airlink provides a crucial role in crisis response around the world. We’re pleased to continue to support their good work, and to welcome new partners as they make commitments to this great organization,” said Mark Bocchi, Alaska Airlines Managing Director of Sales and Community Marketing and Charitable Giving.
 
Also in 2013, JetBlue committed to providing 100 tickets to support humanitarian relief through Airlink for 2014. Through their kind generosity and dedication to humanitarian causes, these tickets are already being utilized throughout JetBlue’s extensive network across the US and down into Latin America and the Caribbean. Airlink believes that airlines will be willing to commit to more forward capacity in the form that best suits them when they experience the benefits of working through the Airlink Network. “Airlink has proven that it brings value to disaster response processes and we want to enhance their ability to respond quickly in times of disaster,” commented Icema Gibbs, JetBlue Airways, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility.

For information on how airlines can make a donation to Airlink, visit www.airlinkflight.org.
 
ABOUT AIRLINK 

Airlink connects commercial airlines and humanitarian aid organizations for air and cargo transportation. Through the Airlink program, we assist disaster response teams with timely mobilization to affected areas. Our program helps disaster victims receive delivery of necessary relief, supplies and the support that ultimately will help them rebuild their lives.  Our reach is global; our air transportation network is constantly expanding as crisis, natural disasters, etc. are on the rise around the world.
 
Airlink has supported humanitarian initiatives on every continent, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the refugee crisis in Syria, regions in Arkansas and Oklahoma destroyed after tornados, Hurricane Sandy, the Japan tsunami and the earthquakes in Haiti and in Turkey. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink’s airline partners have flown approximately 3,300 passengers and transported 800,000 lbs. of cargo, equating to almost $1,500,000 in donated transportation.  
 
The program depends on volunteers from the aviation community and new volunteers are always welcome.  Click through to AIRLINK Partners to view a current list of Airline and NGO Participants.