Celebrating International Civil Aviation Day, Airlink CEO Steve Smith urges businesses across the supply chain to emulate the aviation industry’s commitment to swift, collaborative action and support of humanitarian aid operations.
Washington D.C., Dec. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Celebrating International Civil Aviation Day, Airlink CEO Steve Smith urges businesses across the supply chain to emulate the aviation industry’s commitment to swift, collaborative action and support of humanitarian aid operations. 32 active civil conflicts are unfolding across the globe; 117 million people are displaced (over half of them within their own borders), 363 million people need humanitarian support, and 333 million face acute levels of food insecurity. According to the UNHCR, only about two-thirds of the $55.2B in funding needed to support these communities has been raised.
Airlink relies on over 50 leading airlines’ in-kind contributions of cargo space and flight tickets, alongside cash donations from the aviation community, to coordinate logistics and provide free transport to a global network of 200+ disaster response nonprofits. Across its 14-year history, Airlink has rallied the aviation industry’s support for relief efforts worldwide, enabling 11,000 disaster responders’ flights, transporting 12 million lbs of cargo, and aiding 46 million people affected by disasters.
“International Civil Aviation Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the aviation industry’s invaluable contribution to humanitarian aid delivery, whether that is flying humanitarian cargo or transporting first responders; Airlink’s Governors Council epitomizes that collaborative spirit,” said Steve Smith, Airlink President and CEO. “The supply chain accounts for a staggering 73% of the cost of any aid program, and transport is a major part of that. Embracing collective responsibility across multiple industries within the supply chain could revolutionize aid delivery, ensuring a more effective, prompt, and compassionate response to global emergencies.”
Central to Airlink’s success is the steadfast backing from airline and aviation industry leaders, notably through its Governors Council. Comprising CEOs who inspire and galvanize others to join aviation’s disaster relief movement, the council includes distinguished leaders like Ben Minicucci (Alaska Airlines), Robert Isom (American Airlines), Pedro Heilbron (Copa Airlines), Peter Ingram (Hawaiian Airlines), Güliz Öztürk (Pegasus Airlines), Bob Jordan (Southwest Airlines), Scott Kirby (United Airlines), and Enrique Beltranena (Volaris), with its ranks continuously expanding. A full list of all Governors Council members is available on the Airlink website.
About Airlink: Airlink (www.airlinkflight.org) is a nonprofit organization providing free air transport and logistical coordination for pre-screened nonprofits to deliver disaster responders and supplies in the wake of humanitarian crises worldwide. Airlink receives in-kind gifts from airlines and donations from grant-making bodies, and organizations and individuals within the aviation sector. Its network includes over 200 aid organizations and 50 air carriers and logistics partners. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink’s airline partners have flown nearly 11,000 relief workers and transported more than 12 million pounds of humanitarian cargo, saving nonprofits over $33 million in air transport costs and directly helping over 46 million people. In 2022, the humanitarian aid Airlink moved assisted almost 13 million people in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, please visit