ABU DHABI — Over the years, Etihad Airways has become one of Airlink’s core airline partners; the airline was awarded with Airlink’s 2016 Airline of the Year award in recognition of their work during the Nepal earthquake, and regularly supports a wide variety of missions on their route network. Recently, we spoke with Linden Coppell, Head of Sustainability at Etihad Airways, about Etihad’s philanthropic mission and the ways that they have partnered Airlink to bring humanitarian aid to areas in need around the world.
Of Airlink, Coppel remarked, “Giving back to our community, as well as to the communities in which we operate is part of Etihad Airways’ culture. In times of disaster, when immediate relief is essential, we are committed to working with Airlink to get humanitarian relief to those that need it the most.”
What are Etihad’s philanthropic mission and objectives?
As the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, we are always looking to increase our positive social impact in the communities which we operate. Our varied programmes include supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid through organisations like Airlink and its partner charities, supporting grassroots community organisations and the provision of free cargo and excess baggage for charities, among other initiatives. We also advocate charitable causes to our guests in our inflight entertainment and magazines, charity products in duty-free and our Etihad Guest Miles donation scheme, to encourage greater awareness of social issues affecting our world today.
Why does Etihad support Airlink?
We have considerable logistical resources at our disposal which we try to commit to humanitarian assistance for communities in crisis. Airlink is at the forefront of this field, and we are proud to collaborate with them to support disaster response.
How has Etihad’s partnership with Airlink allowed the airline to give back in times of humanitarian crisis?
When the earthquake struck Nepal in April last year, we were able to support the travel of over 50 aid workers from the USA, Europe and Australia to Nepal. This was part of a greater relief programme initiated by Etihad Airways to help the people of Nepal, including the donation of 5,000 blankets, over 10 tonnes of free-of-charge excess baggage to passengers to carry relief and emergency aid into the country, and around USD 70,000 raised by staff. While we all hope these devastating disasters never happen, we stand ready to assist on the sad occasions that they do.