Ukraine Crisis: Spanish Red Cross, Iberia send humanitarian aid to Budapest

This first shipment of 12 tonnes comprises awnings, blankets and family kitchen kits.

Ukraine Crisis: Spanish Red Cross, Iberia send humanitarian aid to Budapest

A wide-body aircraft – Airbus A330-200 – was used to increase cargo capacity.

Iberia and IAG Cargo on March 10 made the first shipment of humanitarian supplies for the Spanish Red Cross and bound for Budapest, to help in the emergency situation in Ukraine.

This first shipment of 12 tonnes comprises awnings, blankets and family kitchen kits. Currently, the Spanish airline has three weekly direct flights on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Madrid to Budapest. Normally, this route is operated with narrow-body aircraft from the A320 family, but the March 10 flight was operated with a wide-body aircraft – Airbus A330-200 – to increase cargo capacity, from 9 to 70 cubic meters, taking the earlier 1,500 kilos to 12 tonnes.

Teresa Parejo, director of sustainability at Iberia, said, "The situation in Ukraine calls for everyone's solidarity and the commitment of those of us who can contribute in any which way. We are doing so by sending this humanitarian material. Aviation can contribute a lot in emergency situations like this, and at Iberia, we have made ourselves available to NGOs such as the Red Cross to channel that solidarity in the best way possible."

Iberia will continue to collaborate with the Spanish Red Cross and other NGOs to help in the Ukraine crisis with the urgent transport of humanitarian aid as well as people.

Íñigo Vila, director of emergencies and relief at the Spanish Red Cross, commented: "This material that we send in collaboration with Iberia and IAG Cargo is part of the shipment of the Spanish Red Cross to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring countries that began in the last week. This is being done in coordination with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies. We have shipped it to Hungary, where the IFRC has set up a regional warehouse to distribute to these countries on an as-needed basis. Material includes kitchen sets for families and a group of five people, blankets, and plastic awnings to isolate from the rain and cold. The global shipment is valued at more than half a million euros."

Fernando Terol, director of IAG Cargo in Spain, said, "At IAG Cargo we are always looking forward to providing support and collaborating in those social projects that benefit the communities where we operate. The experience acquired during these past months, due to the crisis caused by COVID-19, has allowed us to put ourselves to the test and rise to the challenge of this complex situation, regardless of the size of the shipment or the logistical complexity of the product. Now, given the war in Ukraine, it is time to once again support the shipment of humanitarian cargo in the holds of Iberia planes, together with the Spanish Red Cross, so that it reaches its destination as soon as possible".

Donations to the Red Cross and Unicef

In addition, from March 10 until April 10, Iberia has opened an internal channel so that its employees can make donations in favour of the Red Cross and Unicef for the crisis in Ukraine. The airline will make the same amount that is collected with the donations of the employees and, with the funds collected, the Red Cross and Unicef will acquire in the areas close to the conflict where both NGOs are present the supplies they need, such as food or medicine. With this system, transport costs are saved and local economies are favoured.

Iberia collaborates with the Spanish Red Cross to encourage the participation of its employees in solidarity projects promoted through Iberia's corporate volunteer program. In addition, both organisations collaborate to develop projects of general interest in favour of the most vulnerable people and groups, as in this case to deal with the emergency in Ukraine.

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