ShelterBox recently received nine free flights for Response Team volunteers travelling from London to Peru on deployment to respond to heavy rains, landslides and floods.
The flights were donated by Air Canada via Airlink, the humanitarian relief initiative of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation.
Airlink’s mission is to connect charity organisations with airlines that can provide donated or discounted passenger and cargo space to get aid supplies and aid workers to the parts of the world that need them the most.
The company’s relationship with ShelterBox began after the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Airlink offered help to the disaster relief charity in moving emergency aid to the Asian country. As a result, Airlink arranged a donated United Parcel Service (UPS) shipment from London to Tokyo for around 200 ShelterBoxes. Since then ShelterBox has formally joined the Airlink program, which has arranged numerous cargo and passenger donations.
‘AirLink is thrilled to help ShelterBox by providing donated air transportation to Peru following devastating floods there,’ said Ty Prettyman, Airlink’s Program Director. ‘Through our generous partner Air Canada, we have been able to fully donate nine round trip flights from London to Lima to fly critical ShelterBox staff to deploy life saving aid supplies.
‘Airlink honoured to assist ShelterBox’
‘All of us at AirLink are honoured and proud to be able to assist ShelterBox with their life saving missions and to help them continue their work across the globe.’
Alf Evans, ShelterBox Operations Manager, added: ‘ShelterBox’s relationship with Airlink has been an asset to us since it began. We specialise in emergency disaster response and it is crucial that we get a Response Team on the ground as soon as possible to assess the need for emergency shelter. Airlink has helped us numerous times by finding us donated airfares worldwide, enabling us to respond quickly and also save our donors’ money so we can help more disaster survivors.
‘Etihad Airlines generously flew a team to the Philippines in January 2012 when we responded to the floods and Air Canada just recently flew some teams to Peru responding to the landslides. Without Airlink, this would not have been possible so thank you to them and also the airlines directly.’
ShelterBox currently has two active deployments in Peru. A Response Team has been responding to heavy rains and landslides over the past five weeks and distributing ShelterBoxes in the affected regions of Lima, Cusco and Apurimac; another team is assessing the need in the northern city of Iquitos, following floods caused by the Amazon River overflowing.