Published on : Saturday, May 17, 2014
The AirAsia Group donated a total of 10 hours of flight time on the group’s Airbus A320 for up to 180 personnel and up to 8 tonnes of cargo to Airlink, dedicated for humanitarian efforts around SE Asia.
The flight time donation incorporates the provision of cargo space and carriage of passengers, which will be utilized to fly humanitarian aid supplies and relief workers to affected areas in the event of a disaster.
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO said, “We think Airlink is doing an amazing job with their global aviation relief network and we feel honoured to be able to contribute. Throughout our short history since 2001, AirAsia have been involved in humanitarian causes and and we wanted to be able to contribute in the region AirAsia calls home, where we can be of the most use. We are proud to be a part of this noble effort and Airlink’s global aviation relief network.”
Since its inception, Airlink has operated with modest funding, most of which came from the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation. In January, 2013, Airlink transformed into an independent non-profit organization, enabling them to broaden their financial and volunteer support, while maintaining connections with both the Foundation and the valued ISTAT members. As a result of considerable outreach to airlines and other entities related to transportation, Airlink has secured a variety of contributions including, one million frequent flyer miles on account, forward capacity commitments and financial sponsorships.
“We are grateful to AirAsia for their generous donation and we look forward to working together to prepare a strategic plan that will utilize the flying time to benefit the communities in their region,” said Steve Smith, Executive Director, Airlink. “Having those 10 hours in our inventory and a plan, will facilitate a more timely response to orchestrating humanitarian relief efforts in SE Asia should a crisis arise.”
AirAsia has been to the aid of people and nations in the region at times of need. AirAsia was in the forefront of relief efforts in the wake of the tsunami that struck the region in 2004 and supported the recovery of Bali, Indonesia, after the terrorist bombings in 2005 by giving away 12,000 free seats on its flights. The airline was also provided assistance during Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (2008), the earthquake in Sichuan, China (2008) and earthquake in West Sumatera, Indonesia (2009).
More recently in 2013, AirAsia flew in humanitarian aid to Tacloban to help communities affected by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan. The airline also launched the ‘To Philippines with Love’ (#toPHwithlove) campaign to help those affected by the storm.