Qantas, Qatar And More Mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is breast cancer awareness month. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 625,000 people die every year from breast cancer. It is a disease that primarily impacts women and accounts for 15% of all female cancer deaths. Over 130 airlines, big and small, do their bit to promote awareness of breast cancer over October. After all, everybody knows somebody who’s being impacted by the disease.

130 airlines around the world, including Qantas, promote breast cancer awareness across October. Photo: Qantas News Room

Delta does its bit for breast cancer awareness

One of the airlines onboard is Delta Air Lines. They’ve teamed up with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) over the years, raising over $19 million in the process and funding 76 research projects. Traditionally, Delta has thrown some big bashes to draw attention to breast cancer, including running the very pink-themed Breast Cancer One flights.

This year, broader health concerns have constrained what Delta can do. The airline will accept donations onboard, hand out QR codes to facilitate donations once back on the ground, and sell discounted co-branded Delta and BCRF merchandise via the virtual Pink Boutique.

Delta is just one of the airlines getting behind breast cancer awareness month. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Qatar Airways jumps onboard

On the other side of the world, Qatar Airways is also backing the cause. Across October, Qatar Airways will run a program of activities that includes awareness-building activities, health-education webinars, free mammograms for employees, and fundraising events such as their annual charity bazaar.

“Qatar Airways is devoted to raising awareness of breast cancer. We firmly believe that prevention and early detection can save many lives and contribute to the continuous global efforts made to eradicate this disease,” says Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker.

Various countries have their own breast cancer awareness and fundraising bodies. In Qatar, it’s the Qatar Cancer Society. They’ve joined forces with Qatar Airways. It’s also worth noting Qatar Airways is a patron partner of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), a non-governmental organization focused on leading initiatives that unite and support the cancer community.

It’s not just Qatar doing their bit in this part of the world. Etihad is also one of the many airlines promoting breast cancer awareness.

Qantas has long back breast cancer awareness

In Australia, Qantas has long backed the cause. Several years ago, the airline painted one of its Dash 8 aircraft pink, the signature color of breast cancer awareness. This year, many Qantas pilots will wear pins and pink epaulets to show their support.

According to a report in Australian Aviation, Qantas jumped onboard after a junior QantasLink pilot raised the issue with senior management. Since then, enthusiasm for the cause has filtered across the wider Qantas Group, from baggage handlers to A380 captains. In the process, Qantas has raised over $1 million for breast cancer awareness.

Flying miners in a pink plane to raise awareness

It’s not just the big, well-known airlines getting behind breast cancer awareness month. A local Queensland-based carrier called Alliance Airlines has long backed the cause, teaming up with Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Last year, Alliance Airlines painted one of its Fokker jets pink and called it the Pink Lady. Alliance’s core business is flying charters and fly-in-fly-out flights to mining sites. It’s cool to imagine a planeload of burly miners in high-vis gear traveling on a pink plane.

In a statement, Alliance Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Lee Schofield said;

“Alliance is proud to support Breast Cancer Network Australia and spread the word of their invaluable services.

“Throughout Australia, from our main ports to regional cities and towns, the Pink Lady is a visual reminder of this cause.”

Breast cancer impacts millions of people each year, killing hundreds of thousands in the process. It’s an awful disease. So we’re really pleased to give a shout out to the airlines helping to raise awareness of and money for breast cancer. In doing so, they are helping the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and friends in our lives.