Some days just leave an indelible mark on the memory; such was the case with Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013. According to OCHA, an estimated 14.1 million were affected by the storm across nine regions. The human impact was great, with nearly 4.1 million people displaced at the peak of the disaster and 6,200 lives lost in total.
Behind the scenes, we closely tracked Haiyan as it approached the Philippines. We prepared for the worst case scenario, and the typhoon was the country’s biggest disaster to date. Fortunately, we were already helping our NGO partners prior to its arrival because of the earthquake that hit Bohol just weeks before.
The AIRLINK team worked with our airline partners around the clock to meet the air transportation needs of 17 of our NGO partners, moving teams of disaster relief and rescue specialists, medics, and first responders, as well as pallets of food, medical supplies, water filtration equipment and more, across the country to reach the victims of the deadliest typhoon on record in the Asia-Pacific region.
Through the AIRLINK Network, 10 of our airline partners provided much-needed seats and cargo space to our partner NGOs. In addition, two of our logistics partners, American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) and LIFT, provided significant support and contributed greatly to our ability to mobilize critical humanitarian aid cargo.
Given the magnitude of the situation and the enormous task of securing air transportation, we also launched a campaign to accrue donated United Airlines frequent flyer miles. We ramped up our participation in their Charity Miles Program and, with the help of our donors, added 500,000 to our mileage account.
Thanks to the generous support and reliability of all our airline partners and the confidence that our NGO partners had in us, we helped send teams of disaster response professionals to help the people of the Philippines in their darkest hour. So far, we’ve transported 54 passengers and moved 24,000 lbs. of cargo at an estimated commercial value of nearly $120,000.
But there is still more work to be done—six months have passed and recovery efforts are still underway. The AIRLINK Network remains dedicated to securing air transportation needs for humanitarian relief around the world. AIRLINK would like to thank the following airlines and organizations for their continued support throughout this crisis:
Alaska Airways, Etihad Airways, Emirates, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Philippine Airlines, United Airlines,American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), and LIFT.
AIRLINK would also like to recognize the outstanding response efforts and relief provided by the our NGO partners:ACTS World Relief, Aerobridge, AFYA, All Hands Volunteers, GlobalDIRT, International Relief & Development, NetHope, NYC Medica, Relief International, The Institute of Global and Regional Readiness, Save the Children, ShelterBox, Team Rubicon, the Pure Works Foundation, Water Missions International, Waves 4 Water,and the Philippine Red Cross.