Emirates Providing 50 Cargo Flights To Support Beirut

Emirates is launching an air bridge of 50 special cargo flights to support the city of Beirut. The humanitarian flights come following a devastating explosion that crippled parts of the city early last week. Many airlines have been reacting to the situation to help the Lebanese capital.

Emirates, Aid Flights, Beirut
Emirates has scheduled over 50 cargo flights to carry aid to Beirut. Photo: Emirates

Support typically floods in from around the world following a catastrophic disaster, and it seems that things are no different despite the current pandemic. Of course, airlines play a crucial role in providing this assistance, and we’ve already seen Etihad flying 18 tonnes of aid to the city. Now, neighboring airline Emirates is getting involved.

Emirates cargo air bridge

Emirates is coming to the assistance of those affected by last week’s deadly ammonium nitrate explosion by upping its number of cargo flights to the Lebanese capital. Utilizing its SkyCargo subsidiary, Emirates has scheduled over 50 additional flights to Beirut with the sole purpose of transporting aid. Both of the UAE’s major airlines have now ferried assistance to Lebanon. Last week an Etihad Boeing 777 flew support to the city from the UAE government.

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The airline had already sent several charter flights to the city. These were full of aid such as clothing, medical supplies, and food, all donated by organizations within the UAE. Emirates has a long relationship with the city of Beirut. It began flying to the Lebanese capital in 1991, using a Boeing 727 aircraft.

Emirates, Aid Flights, Beirut
The airline first flew to Beirut in 1991 with a Boeing 727. Photo: Ken Fielding via Wikimedia

Donated aid

Emirates will be allocating space on these flights to humanitarian aid in two ways. Firstly, it is possible to ‘donate’ towards space on these flights. The Dubai based airline is allowing its frequent flyers to donate cash and Skywards Miles. Over the next three months, these donations will be used to “directly coordinate shipments of urgent food, medical supplies and other much needed items.”

However, it doesn’t stop there. Additionally, for each donation, the carrier will allocate space on these cargo flights to humanitarian organizations so that they can move emergency aid directly to Beirut.

Cargo cost reductions

While Emirates will be charging for the remaining space, as usual, it will still help out with costs. The airline will waive 20% of charges for approved shipments. It is understood that space on the flights will also be available to regular cargo at the full rate.

Emirates, Connecting Flights, Dubai
Emirates has said that cargo fees will be reduced for approved shipments of humanitarian aid. Photo: Getty Images

Commenting, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group said,

“Today, the world is banding together to stand in solidarity with Lebanon… Emirates supports the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian efforts to support Lebanon and is committed to bolster its global emergency response to ensure that it can support organisations which provide urgent care, shelter, food and medical support to the Lebanese people.”

What do you make of Emirates’ program? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!