Conceptualized in 2009, Airlink was established by aviation professionals serving within the ISTAT Foundation with the express purpose to facilitate a broad partnership between commercial aviation and non-profit community. The intent of its founders was to utilise commercial aviation capacity on scheduled air carriers to support NGOs in their humanitarian relief efforts – all at relatively low cost to the airlines and non-profits.
Its first mission – a response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti – was a huge success, and set the stage for Airlink to become the major player in disaster response logistics and transportation that it is today with a network that consists of more than 35 commercial and charter airlines and 60 international non-profits.
Since its inception, Airlink’s has worked with its airline partners to respond to a number of rapid-onset disasters, including the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Sandy and numerous tornadoes in the US, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and the Ebola crisis in West Africa. In addition, Airlink’s airline partners have assisted many organisations in addressing ongoing issues in the developing world, such as access to clean water, food, shelter, medical aid, and education.
Airlink and its airline partners have transported over 3,700 passengers and more than 2,500,000 pounds of cargo in support of a broad range of humanitarian initiatives. Airlink estimates the value of these movements at more than USD $5,000,000.