American Airlines Supports Haiti Response By Donating Flights

American Airlines today revealed that it would be aiding the earthquake relief in Haiti. The US carrier has given one million air miles to charity to enable first responders and other volunteers to travel to the disaster zone to help in the aftermath of the crisis.

American Airlines, Haiti Earthquake, Donation
American Airlines has donated one million air miles to Team Rubicon. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

American likes to help out where it can. Throughout the years, we’ve seen the airline helping out in the aftermath of several crises. Most recently, the US giant has been known for shipping vaccines around the globe as part of the US Government’s initiative to seen vaccine doses to less economically developed nations.

Helping in the aftermath of an earthquake

On Saturday, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck six km away from L’Asile in Haiti. According to the US Government earthquake website, it was followed by ten more minor earthquakes ranging in magnitude up to 5.8. According to the Associated Press, the quake’s death toll has exceeded 1,400 and comes 11 years after another powerful quake caused similar devastation.

As is typical after such natural disasters, rescuers from more economically developed countries are keen to fly out to volunteer in the aftermath. However, there arises a problem. Somebody has to foot the bill of transporting those involved. In this instance, American Airlines is indirectly footing the bill for a group of volunteers.

American Airlines, Haiti Earthquake, Donation
The donation will get volunteers to Haiti to help with the disaster relief effort. Photo: Getty Images

The airline has donated one million AAdvantage miles to a charity called Team Rubicon. The miles will be used to fly volunteer first responders and medical professionals out to the disaster zone. According to Team Rubicon’s Deputy Director of Operational Support, William Porter, paying for flights for volunteers is usually the most considerable expense the charity faces. As a result of American Airlines’ donation, more money can be spent on the ground in Haiti, where it is needed most.

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American Airlines has served Haiti for 50 years. During peak periods, the airline operates daily services to Port-au-Prince from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Commenting on the donation, José A. Freig, American’s Vice President of International, said,

“American is proud to partner with Team Rubicon as their teams fly to Haiti to provide much-needed medical assistance following this devastating earthquake… We have a long and proud history in Haiti, with this year marking five decades of service, and we will continue supporting the Haitian community as they work to rebuild and recover.”

American Airlines, Haiti Earthquake, Donation
American Airlines has also been helping Team Rubicon to battle COVID-19. Photo: Team Rubicon

Who is Team Rubicon?

Team Rubicon is an organization that works with veterans once they leave the armed forces. Their skills are leveraged to help when disasters and humanitarian crises break out. The organization was actually founded following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the organization has grown to roughly 150,000 volunteers who have helped in over 800 operations.

American Airlines has been working with Team Rubicon for four years now and helped the organization in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. More recently, it is helping the charity to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

What do you make of American Airlines’ donation? Let us know what you think and why in the comments down below.