Air Transat received authorization to operate a second humanitarian flight to Port-au-Prince Wednesday afteronoon, with the co-operation of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The plane, an Airbus A330 wide-body jet, left Montreal with 60 volunteers from a variety of organizations including the Canadian Red Cross and the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) as well as approximately 40 tonnes of medical supplies (drugs, orthopedic appliances, etc.) and essential goods.
Approximately 100 evacuees, including a group of orphaned children, were expected to board the return flight. Around 20 specialists from the Service d’intervention d’urgence du Centre du Québec (an emergency response team), including doctors and nurses, along with some 40 Air Transat employee volunteers (pilots, flight crew and office staff) were on the plane to accompany the children and see to their well-being while in transit and upon arrival.
"We have worked extremely hard to organize this humanitarian flight, which allows us to transport more specialized personnel able to respond to emergency situations in Haiti, as well as bring a maximum of relief supplies to the country," said Air Transat President and Chief Executive Officer Allen B. Graham. "We know that when it comes to meeting the still-pressing needs of the Haitian people, every gesture counts."
Air Transat made an initial humanitarian flight to Haiti on January 20th which carried some 40 tonnes of relief supplies and essential materials, part of which were donated by Air Transat and its employees; also on board were approximately 100 volunteers from various organizations. Some of the supplies went to SOS Children’s Villages, a Transat partner that cares for orphans in two Haitian villages.
In organizing these two humanitarian flights, Air Transat has received co-operation and support from a number of organizations including Aéroports de Montréal, Ottawa International Airport and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, as well as from private partners, among them CARA, Cargo Air Services, the Otis Grant and Friends Foundation, Saputo, Eska, Pepsi, PUMA and Unisource.