Maximus Air Cargo announced yesterday that it is joining forces with Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Airports Co. (ADAC) to launch “Care By Air,” a humanitarian effort that will provide cargo space at cost for relief aid to disaster-stricken areas of the world. Supporting members include the United Arab Emirates’ Red Crescent and the United Nations World Food Program, and more are expected to join soon.
According to the program partners, about 30 percent of cargo loading capacity goes unused and if “just 0.0003 percent of this space were to be filled, then five million people in need could be fed for a day.”
Even before yesterday’s signing of a formal agreement to create Care By Air, all of the program partners have long-established humanitarian roots. In fact, one of Maximus’ Ilyushin IL-76TDs, similar to the one on display here in Dubai, carried 25 tons of relief aid–including search teams, relief vehicles and rescue dogs–and 18 tons of urgent support material to Padang, Sumatra, in Indonesia last month after the region was devastated by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake.