Avianca Cargo signed its first formal partnership agreement with disaster response nonprofit Airlink. In the agreement, The company promises to transport 50-tons of humanitarian aid throughout 2021.
Avianca Cargo operates a network connecting Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to the United States and Europe via hubs in Miami and Bogota. The agreement will enable nonprofit Airlink to support humanitarian relief efforts in Central and South America throughout the year.
Under the new agreement, Airlink, its non-profit partner AFYA Foundation, and Avianca Cargo conducted their first project, transporting over 6,500 pounds of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and hygiene kits to support communities devastated by Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Guatemala. The use of PPE and regular handwashing are recommended by the United Nations as ways to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We are pleased to have signed this partnership with Airlink. Avianca Cargo has always been a socially responsible business, and our alliance with Airlink will enable us to do more to help countries and communities in need across Latin America,” said Kurt Schosinsky, Avianca Cargo Managing Director.
Hurricanes ETA and IOTA wreaked havoc in Central America and Colombia, impacting more than 7.5 million people. Extensive flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic have made it one of the most challenging disasters faced by the region in recent history. At least part of the 50-ton commitment will go toward the long-term recovery in Guatemala and Honduras.
“The provision of 50-tons of airlift greatly expands our ability to bring humanitarian relief to communities impacted by the recent hurricanes,” said Airlink President and CEO Steven J. Smith. “This important partnership provides Airlink and our disaster response network with the resources locked-in to plan for potential near future responses, including support for COVID-19 vaccination programs.”
Nonprofit Airlink builds partnerships with aviation sector businesses, like Avianca Cargo, to provide free and heavily subsidized air transport to a network of 130 pre-screened humanitarian relief and disaster response nonprofits. Since 2010, Airlink has saved its nonprofit partners over $12 million in air transport costs, resources which these nonprofit network partners could redirect to buying humanitarian aid and funding service delivery.
In 2020, Airlink responded to 21 international man-made and natural disasters and moved 622 skilled responders, over 500,000 pounds of humanitarian aid, including 8.5 million items of PPE to medical and frontline staff and volunteers. The aid they transported reached more than 5 million people.
Nonprofit Airlink is not widely known by the general public, but the organization recently announced pilot and actor Harrison Ford had become its spokesman and they are sponsored by aviation and aerospace brands like United Airlines and Rolls Royce.