LONDON – British flag carrier British Airways and its sister company IAG Cargo have come together with aid organisations to fly emergency aid provisions to Islamabad.
British Airways Focuses on Aid Services
The flooding began in June 2022 when the country saw monsoon rain, but has resulted in landslides, causing rivers to burst their banks and dams to overflow.
Carrie Harris, British Airways’ Director of Sustainability said: “We’re all deeply saddened by the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan and our thoughts are with everyone affected. As well as working with IAG Cargo to offer the free transportation of vital emergency aid, we have also redirected the funds raised from our onboard collection envelopes to support the relief efforts in Pakistan.”
“In just four weeks our customers and colleagues have generously helped raise more than £176,000 for the DEC’s Pakistan Flood Appeal. Colleagues across the airline have been donating via Payroll Giving. We’re continuing to work through all our community investment channels to offer further support where it’s needed.”
A third of the country is said to have been underwater, but as flood waters begin to recede, the extent of the damage is becoming ever clearer. Water has destroyed houses, roads, schools and hospitals to name a few.
Families with young children are being left to live out in the open with no access to clean water, food or clothing. The longer these families are exposed to the dirty flood waters with little-to-no access to clean provisions, the more likely they are to be endangered by the elements brought on by the after-effects of the floods.
Since the onset of the floods, British Airways customers have donated over £176,000 through onboard collections alone. The largest batch of aid flown out to date weighed in at eight tonnes and flew out on Sunday 25th September. The flight was made up of a crew that all have personal connections to Pakistan.
Supplies included were things such as medical supplies, non-perishable food, tents and clothing. Flown to Islamabad free of charge by BA and IAG Cargo, the aid was supplied by key charity partners like Football for Peace and Khalsa Aid.
With a further 21 tonnes of aid planned to be flown out in the coming weeks, the airline has also been working with the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) to help aid workers get to Pakistan to support the emergency.
Comments From British Airways
British Airways ‘Better World’ sustainability programme has a strong track record of helping communities in need when struck by this type of disaster. It has worked with the DEC since 2013 and helped raise more than £27.5 million for numerous charitable causes with the help and support of its colleagues and customers.
Chief Commercial Officers and IAG Cargo said about the situation seen in Pakistan: “We have all seen the devastating impact of the horrendous floods in Pakistan that are impacting the lives of so many.”
“The air cargo industry has always played a key role in providing the rapid response humanitarian crises require and I’m pleased that with the support of the teams at IAG Cargo, British Airways, and charities including Khalsa Aid and Football for Peace we’re able to contribute towards the significant relief being given to those in need.”
BA and IAG are not the only airlines to be supporting the aid efforts in Pakistan. Aviation Source News reported that Emirates Airlines and its freighter arm, SkyCargo had set up an airbridge to 5 airports around Pakistan to help provide critical aid.