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Published on : Monday, November 11, 2013
A Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 wide-body jet is heading to the capital of the Philippines with 25 tonnes of emergency aid on board. Flight LH 9922 was loaded early this 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 in the Philippines. The Airbus left Frankfurt at 9.20 hours and is expected to land in Manila at around 22 hours tonight (German time). 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 face of the 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 organisation 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 centre. In less than 36 hours, the relief partners put together a 25-tonne aid package at the Frankfurt hub, which will be delivered for the victims of the disaster, more than 10,000 kilometres away, later tonight.
“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. Europe’s leading cargo carrier has for months cooperated closely with Germany’s relief coalition “Aktion Deutschland Hilft“ in order to facilitate fastest the provision of aid in devastating catastrophes, worldwide. 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. This fast unbureaucratic 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,“ emphasised World Vision Chairman Christoph Hilligen, whose organisation was a key influence behind the signing of the ”Faster aid together“ cooperation agreement. In addition to World Vision, the “Aktion Deutschland Hilft“ relief coalition encompasses 21 other leading German aid organisations, 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 centre and I am delighted that the BBK has been able to utilise 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).