Air France has joined efforts to provide aid for Lebanon in the wake of a catastrophic explosion in its capital city. The French airline says it has delivered close to three tonnes of support to date. The resources were collected by its “Solidarity for Lebanon” program.
Solidarity efforts bring in donations
The recent explosion in Beirut on August 4th was news that shocked the world. The magnitude of the blast and devastation left in its wake have seen many without homes and in desperate need of aid. Around the world, various organizations and governments have stepped in to help.
France has been proactive in pooling aid to help the country. On August 9th, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a virtual international donor conference for Beirut. Now, France’s flag carrier is in on the action.
Air France shared on Friday that it had delivered close to three tonnes of aid to help those in need in Beirut. The airline started a Solidarity for Lebanon event through which it received a large number of donations.
According to a press release from the donor conference, the members of the discussion agreed that,
“… [the] assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency.”
Among those essentials donated through Air France were food, clothes, childcare items, and medical supplies.
First flight on August 13th
Air France first delivered its aid to Lebanon on Thursday, August 13th. It used a Boeing 777-200ER registered F-GSPY to fly from Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) to Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY). Flight number AF566 lasted three hours and 46 minutes traveling over Swiss airspace. It then made its way over Serbia, Bulgaria, and the Western edge of Turkey.
It left at 09:45 UTC and arrived at 13:40 UTC the same day with 282 packages onboard. When the shipment arrived, it was handled by the Air France Regional Division in Beirut, who then distributed the packages to local charities.
Air France has said that these donations will continue on the route between Paris and Beirut for as long as necessary. The next shipment will use a Boeing 787.
Air France joins other airlines
To facilitate the delivery of extra aid, Air France will also allow passengers on flights between Paris and Beirut to bring an extra bag free of charge to deliver essentials. The scheme will run until September 20th.
In its charitable efforts, Air France joins other carriers, also providing aid to Lebanon. Emirates will deliver support on 50 select cargo flights to Lebanon. Etihad flew 16 tonnes of aid to Beirut on August 6th, and IranAir was pivotal in evacuating Iranians the day after the blast.
What do you make of this story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.