At the 74th IATA Anual General Meeting (AGM), the world’s leading commercial airlines commit to delivering disaster response through Airlink.
“During a disaster, I think that’s when [airlines] really come into our own. Everybody relies on air traffic to get critical goods, critical people to these places and it has to be done quickly,” said CEO of International Airlines Group Willie Walsh. “What Airlink does is coordinate that activity… and it’s the power of that coordination that actually makes a big difference and that’s why we look to Airlink.”
Airlink currently partners with 41 airlines, connecting its humanitarian partners to fast, reliable transportation during times of natural disaster or humanitarian crisis. Airline CEOs said Airlink enables a connection between the airlines and the people they serve.
“Airlink is that great facilitator between the industry and the community. The logos come off the tails and we all come together,” said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes. “Airlink really makes that happen.”
In an address to the IATA AGM Delegation, Airlink President and CEO Steve Smith took a moment to thank IATA members for their commitments to humanitarian work.
“Whether it is the ongoing refugee crises, destructive weather events, or a pandemic, I know first-hand how passionately airlines and the aviation sector want to help and do already help. On behalf of the humanitarian sector, I thank you for all that you are doing.”
To date, Airlink and its airline partners have enabled more than 400 humanitarian responses, flown more than 4,000 passengers, and transported nearly 4,000,000 pounds of aid cargo.