Emirates launches free India airbridge for urgent COVID-19 relief


EMIRATES Airlines has set up a humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India to transport urgent medical and relief items, to support India’s fight to control the serious COVID-19 situation in the country.

According to a statement issued on Monday, the Dubai-based Emirates will offer cargo capacity free of charge on an “as available” basis on all of its flights to nine cities in India, to help international non-governmental organisations deliver relief supplies rapidly to where it is needed.

In the past weeks, Emirates SkyCargo has already been transporting medicines and medical equipment on scheduled and charter cargo flights to India. This latest airbridge initiative takes Emirates’ support for India and for the NGO community to the next level.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ chairman and chief executive, said the airline stands with the Indian people and would do all it can to help India get back on its feet.

“India and Emirates are deeply connected since our first flights to India in 1985…Emirates has a lot of experience in humanitarian relief efforts, and with 95 weekly flights to nine destinations in India, we will be offering regular and reliable wide body capacity for relief materials,” he said. “The International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai is the largest crisis relief hub in the world and we will work closely with them to facilitate the movement of urgent medical supplies.”

The first shipment sent as part of the Emirates India humanitarian airbridge is a consignment of over 12 tonnes of multi-purpose tents from the World Health Organisation (WHO), destined for Delhi, and coordinated by the IHC in Dubai.

And IHC CEO Giuseppe Saba said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid built the IHC, so that Dubai, in coordination with humanitarian agencies, would be able to assist communities and families most in need around the world.

“The creation of the humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India, facilitated by Emirates SkyCargo, Dubai’s International Humanitarian City and UN agencies, to transport urgent medical and relief items, is another example of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision for the IHC, being brought to life,” said Saba.

“Last year over 1,292 shipments were dispatched from the IHC in Dubai, setting the standard for humanitarian response globally. We appreciate the great efforts by IHC’s partner Emirates SkyCargo establishing this humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India in this time of need”.