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Emirates roll out big relief operations

posted on 02/01/2005: 765 views

Emirates Airline has embarked on a special operation to provide humanitarian relief and aid to the survivors of the catastrophic tsunamis of last Sunday in South Asia. The first 100 tents of a shipment of 1000 donated by a local Sri Lankan benefactor have already been dispatched by Emirates SkyCargo from Dubai to Colombo, as well as five tonnes of foodstuffs from Dubai to the Maldives.

Over the next few days, the airline will procure, provide and transport relief materials, either free of cost or at extremely reduced charges.

To Colombo: - Food, medicines and clothes totalling 10 tonnes from the Emirates Group, and the remaining 900 tents of the charitable shipment mentioned above, will be sent on Emirates' regular flights.

- Relief vehicles and 4000 tents from the Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Society in Dubai -- a total of 200 tonnes to be carried in two Boeing 747-200 freighters.

- Relief and medical supplies will be transported free of cost from Gothenburg to Colombo, commissioned by the Sri Lankan embassy in Sweden.

To Male (Maldives): - Emirates has procured 30 tonnes of bottled water and secured the entire cargo hold of a flight to Male.

- One hundred and eighty-three cartons of clothing and blankets, amounting to 2.5 tonnes of relief goods, from Airport Fire Services at Manchester will be transported free of cost.

To Jakarta: 35 tonnes of tarpaulins from UNICEF, Dubai To Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur,

Colombo and Delhi: a combined total of 90 tonnes of relief goods from the Iranian Red Crescent Society in Tehran.

To Madras: Relief supplies from Paris sent by MEDICOR - a French Doctor's Association.

Emirates SkyCargo is working closely with SriLankan Airlines to facilitate quick transport, provide cargo space and coordinate relief activities. Emirates also is co-sponsoring the Airport Emergency team based in Dubai, part of the Disaster Resource Network, a non-profit consortium of blue-chip companies that offers humanitarian aid during such disasters.

Eight staff members from the Emirates Group will travel to Colombo to coordinate and support these relief efforts. Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: "We are horrified by the scale of the disaster that has affected so many of the communities that we serve across South Asia.

From Emirates staff at airport operations across the region we are hearing that many passengers are arriving in rags. Our people are assisting them by providing clothes, beverages and comfort, and ensuring that they fly home on the first available flight.

"To all those who worried about their lost tickets, it has been a relief to learn that basically all we need to issue them new tickets is their names and the original date of travel.

The Emirates Airline Foundation and our staff are involved with various aspects of relief work. We are monitoring the situation carefully to assess the most urgent needs and will do our utmost to help. Our thoughts and prayers are with the survivors and the relief workers." Emirates' relief efforts are being coordinated with the authorities in each country to ensure that the supplies are quickly and efficiently distributed once they arrive at their destinations, and that they reach the survivors as soon as possible. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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