Our Story

A New Idea. A New Approach 

In late 2009, Airlink was formed by the ISTAT Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the International Society for Transport Aircraft Trading, which supports individuals and institutions that promote the advancement of commercial aviation and humanitarianism.

Airlink launched its first response in 2010 when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Airlink joined forces with global NGOs and commercial and private aviation to coordinate the movement of more than 2,000 doctors and nurses and more than 40 shipments of aid totaling +500,000 pounds.

Although Airlink’s creation was the result of a number of key individuals looking to harness the power of the aviation and aerospace sector to meet humanitarian needs, if one man can be credited with founding Airlink then it is Robert ‘Bob’ Brown. Bob also served as Airlink’s first Chairman, stepping down in 2019, but he remains an active board member and powerful advocate for Airlink and its unique role. 

A Critical Partner to NGOs

As it grows in expertise, since its inception 14 years ago, Airlink has sought to offer practical solutions to critical problems and help strengthen the sector as a whole. In addition to saving our partners millions of dollars on transport costs, Airlink increasingly helps manage the transport requirements of NGO partners, from first to last-mile delivery. Airlink even provides shipping via container ship when that seems more practical and a better solution than placing cargo on planes. In addition to responding to disasters, Airlink enjoys a unique convening and policy development position. Delivering insight, guidance, and fostering best practices within the disaster logistics and response sector has become a key component of Airlink’s work today.