DUBLIN — For their second annual Humanitarian Awards, Airlink honored its partners JetBlue Airways and ChildFund International as Airline Partner of the Year and NGO Partner of the Year, respectively, in recognition of their steadfast support of Airlink in 2014.
“We are extremely pleased to recognize both JetBlue Airways and ChildFund International for their ongoing dedication and response to humanitarian crises in 2014,” commented Steve Smith, Executive Director of Airlink. “While JetBlue provided significant support to Airlink this past year, they also continue to act as a catalyst for our program and to help build our collective impact. ChildFund International is a new NGO partner to Airlink that has engaged very actively with our program, particularly during the Airlink Ebola Air Bridge, which indicates the degree to which they value our partnership.”
The presentation of the awards took place during the Airlink Charity Gala Dinner, which was held on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Airline Economics’ Growth Frontiers Dublin 2015 Conference. Airlink was the sole charity partner for the Gala Dinner, which was sponsored by Engine Lease Finance Corporation. “We are grateful to Philip Tozer-Pennington and Aviation News Online for providing Airlink with the opportunity to generate greater exposure for the organization and for all their support from our first introduction” said Steve Smith.
In 2014, JetBlue Airways supported humanitarian efforts by providing air transportation to a significant number of disaster response organizations responding to humanitarian crises. Over the past year alone, JetBlue increased its capacity commitment to Airlink, donating seats to NGOs in support of relief projects including the building of safe houses for girls and women formerly kept as slaves in Haiti, the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts and other eye diseases in rural populations in Peru, and the recovery efforts following the biggest wildfire in the history of Washington state, to name a few.
“On behalf of JetBlue’s 16,000 crewmembers, I’d like to thank Airlink for this prestigious honor. At JetBlue, our mission is to inspire humanity both in the air and on the ground. With Airlink, we are able to bring this mission to life and help our neighbors in need throughout our network, said Penny Neferis, director emergency response and business continuity, JetBlue Airways. “We are committed to helping communities in crisis and Airlink allows us to do so.”
ChildFund was recognized for their outstanding efforts to help families and communities support children through every stage of their development as well as for changing the underlying factors that prevent children from reaching their full potential and finding their rightful place in society. ChildFund International has provided cargo on multiple flights during Airlink’s Ebola Air Bridge to West Africa, beginning with the first flight – a 737 funded by Ross Perot, Jr. – to transport emergency medical aid to Monrovia, Liberia.
“ChildFund is honored to receive this award,” said Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund. “ChildFund staff, volunteers and corporate partners have dedicated countless hours and given generously to help those affected by one of the worst global crises we have seen in our lifetimes. Receiving this award is a testament to their hard work and a solid reminder of the work that remains to be done to end this epidemic.”
Airlink remains committed to helping the aviation community and NGOs utilize air transportation to deliver humanitarian aid across the globe and looks forward to working with JetBlue Airways and ChildFund International on future missions.