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November 12, 2013

Typhoon in the Philippines: Lufthansa Flies Relief Supplies to Manila

By Chris Boyle

Lufthansa_large-462x305Airline Lufthansa has delivered emergency aid to the Philippines following the typhoon disaster, which is thought to have affected 11.3 million people.

Yesterday at 4:30am local time, a Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 wide-body jet landed in the capital of the Philippines with 25 tonnes of relief supplies on-board.

Flight LH 9922 was loaded early Sunday morning with 5,400 fleece blankets, 3,000 plastic tarpaulins and tents, as well as urgently needed medical supplies to speed first aid to the stricken area devastated by the super typhoon.

The Airbus left Frankfurt at 9:20am on November 10. On arrival of the LH9922 in Manila, the support material was handed over to Lufthansa Technik Philippines for further coordination.

The goods are being transported by World Vision to the regions affected by the typhoon.

The emergency initiative was prompted by Lufthansa Captain Frank Uhdris, who spontaneously urged that the belly capacity of the long-haul Airbus bound for Manila be made available free in the face of this catastrophe.

Subsequently, Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Lufthansa Technik initiated unparalleled action in cooperation with the Federal Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance Agency (BBK), as well as the World Vision organization and I.S.A.R Germany, in order to get aid underway as soon as possible.

The emergency initiative was coordinated by the BBK joint information center.  In less than 36 hours, the relief partners put together a 25-tonne aid package at the Frankfurt hub.

“In catastrophes, every hour counts in the provision of aid and the logistics are paramount. It is only natural for Lufthanseats to furnish fast and professional assistance in humanitarian disasters,” said Lufthansa Cargo Chairman Karl Ulrich Garnadt.

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For months, Europe’s leading cargo carrier has cooperated closely with Germany’s relief coalition, ‘Aktion Deutschland Hilft’,  in order to facilitate the fastest provision of aid, worldwide, to areas that experienced devastating catastrophes. Their representatives signed a cooperation agreement under the motto “Faster aid together” at Frankfurt Airport earlier this year.

“We are highly delighted at this first visible sign of cooperation between World Vision and  Lufthansa with its Lufthansa Cargo subsidiary,” said World Vision Chairman Christoph Hilligen, whose organization was a key influence behind the signing of the “Faster aid together” cooperation agreement.

“This fast aid is entirely for the benefit of the victims of the havoc caused by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Seldom before have such urgently required relief supplies been transported so quickly to a distant continent.”

In addition to World Vision, the “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” relief coalition encompasses 21 other leading German aid organizations which rely on Lufthansa Cargo’s logistics know-how and the Lufthansa global route network when rendering international aid around the world. The patron of the cooperation project is Germany’s Federal Transport Minister, Dr. Peter Ramsauer.

“Coordination and resource management of international relief requests is the responsibility of our joint information and situation center and I am delighted that the BBK has been able to utilize it to contribute to the provision of relief aid for the victims in the Philippines,” said Christoph Unger, President of the Federal Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance Agency (BBK).

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