As parts of the Bahamas fight to recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Dorian, humanitarian relief organization Airlinkhas partnered with United Airlinesto launch a flight carrying critical supplies and relief teams for five nonprofits today.
The plane, carrying nearly 100 relief workers and 30,000 pounds of aid including hygiene kits and food, left George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston and landed at Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas this afternoon. Organizations being assisted by the partnership are Heart to Heart International, Mercy Corps, Rise Against Hunger, Team Rubiconand Waves for Water.
Airlink leverages the expertise and assets of the aviation and logistics industries to ensure rapid and efficient humanitarian responses. The organization counts on partners like United Airlinesto transport relief personnel and humanitarian aid for its trusted network of relief organization partners.
“United is a highly valued part of our disaster response framework and our partnership ensures only the most needed types of aid quickly reach people and communities grappling with the immense challenge of recovering from disaster,” said Steven J. Smith, Airlink president and CEO. “Together we are helping highly effective aid organizations overcome barriers to responding and bringing specialized assistance to those in need.”
Today’s flight is another step in Airlinkand United’songoing efforts to provide relief to the Bahamas, including previously sending 84 relief workers from 18 organizations to assist in recovery efforts. United has also launched a Crowdrise fundraising campaignfor those affected by Hurricane Dorian. Donations support the airline’s relief partners, including Airlink, which has received nearly $200,000 of the half a million dollars the airline has raised through its generous customers, including the airline’s $100,000 match. MileagePlus customers are still welcome to donate to Airlink or any participating organizations. United is donating a total of 5 million bonus miles to give to individuals who make donations of $50 or more.
“Working with Airlink has helped us deliver a significant and efficient response to Hurricane Dorian’s impact by connecting United with the incredible relief workers and organizations stepping up to help in The Bahamas,” said Sharon Grant, chief community engagement officer at United Airlines.
“Today’s flight represents what great work we can do when we come together for our communities in need, and while we are proud of this effort, we also recognize the importance of continuing to work with organizations on the ground to help Bahamians rebuild.”
For organizations likeTeam Rubicon, which had dozens of relief workers on the flight, Airlink’s partnership with United Airlinesmeans their efforts to assist hurricane impacted communities can be sustained.
“Our teams were on the ground in the immediate aftermath answering calls from the EMT Coordination Cell and providing debris removal services to impacted communities,” said Brent Slough, mobilization manager for Team Rubicon. “Organizations like Airlink enable Team Rubicon’s impact to be greater and our service to these communities longer. We’re thankful for their generosity and for getting our teams on the ground.”
“Airlink’s support of our Bahamas hurricane disaster response, in addition to the many other programs on which we have collaborated, has proven critical to our ability to provide access to clean water for those needing it the most,” said Caitlan Rowe, Waves for Water global operations director. The organization’s responders on the flight will be distributing water filtration devices to hard-hit communities in an effort to prevent waterborne illnesses.
Lack of clean water and need for temporary shelter, medical care and other services continue to make thousands of people in the Bahamas vulnerable. In anticipation of continued need, Airlink is raising funds to support future flights and operations. Learn more or make a donation.