Airlines Doing their Part in Haiti

 - January 20, 2010, 8:48 AM

Airlines from as far afield as Israel have contributed to the earthquake relief effort in Haiti, where dozens of medical teams and tons of emergency supplies have poured in via Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. El Al Airlines, for one, used a Boeing 747-400 and a Boeing 777 to carry more than 80 tons of supplies along with 229 passengers consisting of medical personnel, search-and-rescue teams and a K9 rescue squad. El Al said the medical teams could spend at least two weeks in the country.

Starting today, American Airlines planned to operate three relief flights from its Miami hub to Haiti using Boeing 737s while the carrier’s American Eagle regional subsidiary continues to supply humanitarian aid with ATR 72 turboprops from San Juan, Puerto Rico. As of yesterday the regional airline had already transported 80,000 pounds of supplies. Eagle had scheduled two more humanitarian flights for this week and three for next week.

Meanwhile, American Airlines has teamed with hospitals and relief organizations to transport medical personnel and more than 10,000 pounds of supplies, including water, food, medicine and other non-perishable goods. It plans to conduct the other relief flights on Friday and next Wednesday. Return flights will transport evacuees into the U.S.

Further evacuation efforts have come courtesy of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways, which reported that it successfully completed an operation to rescue 53 orphaned children from the disaster. The airline provided an Embraer 170 to transport the children to Pittsburgh yesterday for medical attention. The regional jet previously flew from Pittsburgh to Port-au-Prince, where it dropped off 3,000 pounds of medical and surgical supplies donated by Pittsburgh’s Brother’s Brother Foundation.