News

Covid: Emirates sets up Dubai-India airbridge to transport urgent relief items

Web report


Last updated on May 9, 2021 at 11.06 pm
Read more...

Emirates airline has set up a humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India to transport urgent medical and relief items in order to support India in its fight to control the serious Covid-19 situation in the country.

Khaleej Times · 8@8 with David Light, Monday May 10

Listen to this story and more on 8@8 with David Light

Emirates will offer cargo capacity free of charge on an “as available” basis on all of its flights to nine cities in India, to help international NGOs deliver relief supplies rapidly to where it is needed.

In the past weeks, Emirates SkyCargo has already transported medicines and medical equipment on scheduled and charter cargo flights to India. This latest airbridge initiative takes Emirates’ support for India and for the NGO community to the next level.

“India and Emirates are deeply connected, since our first flights to India in 1985. We stand with the Indian people and will do all we can to help India get back on its feet. Emirates has a lot of experience in humanitarian relief efforts, and with 95 weekly flights to nine destinations in India, we will be offering regular and reliable widebody capacity for relief materials. The International Humanitarian City in Dubai is the largest crisis relief hub in the world and we will work closely with them to facilitate the movement of urgent medical supplies,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates.

The first shipment sent as part of the Emirates India humanitarian airbridge is a consignment of over 12 tons of multi-purpose tents from the World Health Organization (WHO), destined for Delhi, and coordinated by the IHC in Dubai.

Giuseppe Saba, CEO of International Humanitarian City, said International Humanitarian City in coordination with humanitarian agencies, would be able to assist communities and families most in need around the world.

“The creation of the humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India to transport urgent medical and relief items is another example of the vision of the Ruler of Dubai for the IHC being brought to life. Last year, over 1,292 shipments were dispatched from the IHC in Dubai, setting the standard for humanitarian response globally. We appreciate the great efforts by IHC’s partner Emirates SkyCargo establishing this humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India in this time of need,” he said.

The freight division of Emirates has a close partnership with IHC, developed over several years of delivering relief materials to communities across the world impacted by natural disasters and other crises. IHC will support Emirates SkyCargo in channelling relief efforts to India through the airbridge.

Following the Port of Beirut blasts in August 2020, Emirates also leveraged its expertise in humanitarian logistics to set up an airbridge to Lebanon to assist with relief efforts.

Emirates has led the aviation and air cargo industry in its efforts to help markets around the world combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The air cargo carrier has helped transport thousands of tonnes of urgently required PPE and other medical supplies across six continents over the last year by rapidly adapting its business model and introducing additional cargo capacity through its modified mini freighters with seats removed from Economy Class on Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft along with loading cargo on seats and in overhead bins inside passenger aircraft to transport urgently required materials.

In addition, Emirates SkyCargo has partnered with UNICEF and other entities in Dubai through the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance, to transport Covid-19 vaccines rapidly to developing nations through Dubai. So far, close to 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been transported on Emirates’ flights, equating to nearly 1 in 20 of all Covid-19 vaccine doses administered around the world.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com