At least five airlines flying to Kerala, including those from the UAE and Qatar, have offered to carry relief goods free of cost. While Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo said it would carry flood relief cargo of more than 175 tons to Thiruvananthapuram in 13 flights, Doha-based Qatar Airways has organised an operation to carry 50 tons of relief material till August 29. The relief goods include lifesaving boats, blankets, dry food items, water, clothing and medicines.
“Emirates SkyCargo will carry flood relief cargo of over 175 tons to Kerala, India, joining the UAE community in their support of the people of Kerala. Over more than a dozen flights, the air cargo operator will transport the relief goods, which have been donated by various UAE-based businesses and organisations, to Thiruvananthapuram – the nearest online Emirates station to the areas most affected by the flood. The goods, including lifesaving boats, blankets and dry food items, will be handed over to the local flood relief and aid organisations for distribution,” Emirates Airlines’ cargo division said in a press statement.
Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo Guillaume Halleux said: “We have received earnest requests from the Indian community residing in the state of Qatar seeking support to transport relief aid to Southern Kerala, where many of their families and relatives are affected by the worst flood in a century. Given the devastating situation, we have rapidly activated a humanitarian operation to offer free transportation of relief goods from Doha to Trivandrum on our daily passenger flight.”
Among domestic airlines, Air India and Jet Airways have waived freight charges for flood relief material being sent to Kerala. Vistara has tied up with Charities Aid Foundation India to carry relief material from corporates and accredited NGOs. Further, the airline said it would fly doctors, nurses, disaster management experts and skilled volunteers from accredited institutions and relief organisations free of cost from Delhi and Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram.