Harrison Ford partners with disaster relief non-profit Airlink
Hollywood celebrity Harrison Ford has become an official spokesperson for US-based rapid response disaster relief non-profit Airlink. The actor, who is also a pilot, recently shot a short video from his California aircraft hangar designed to highlight the life-saving work of Airlink. In the video, he said that one of the main reasons that he wanted to support the organisation was because it harnesses the power of aviation to save lives and rebuild communities in the aftermath of natural or man-made disasters.
Airlink helps build partnerships with international airlines and freight carriers to help subsidise air transport for over 130 organisations that provide disaster response and humanitarian aid in their network. Some of the organisations are The Salvation Army, Project HOPE, World Central Kitchen, and MedShare, who work tirelessly to provide timely aid to affected areas. They are helped by Airlink’s airline partners around the world like Emirates SkyCargo, Polar Air Cargo, Atlas Air and Lufthansa Cargo, among others.
Talking about the importance of the work done by Airlink, Ford said, “In its 10 years, Airlink has responded to over 90 disasters with nearly 70,000 humanitarian aid workers and half a million pounds of vital supplies, and partnered with over 130 non-profit organisations, saving them nearly $12 million by providing flights for their personnel and cargo. Today, they are helping tackle the Covid-19 pandemic by delivering over 6.5 million items in PPE and volunteering medical responders to hard-hit fragile communities.”
Talking about their partnership with the actor, Airlink president and CEO Steven J. Smith said, “Harrison has long been an aviation advocate and as a pilot has participated in many aviation based humanitarian efforts. We are a great match for one another.” He added, “It is an honor to have Harrison involved with promoting the work of Airlink as we and our aviation and nonprofit partners continue to deliver aid to communities impacted by natural and man-made disasters.”
Harrison Ford at the video shoot in his California aircraft hangar.
The organisation has been busy working to help in the fastest way possible, and while they have been busy with providing help during Covid-19 crisis, they are continuing their other relief work. Airlink has also managed to deploy volunteers, humanitarian aid workers and relief supplies for the blast in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, after a stockpile of ammonium nitrate exploded in August. They have also helped during the hurricanes Laura, Sally and Delta, which affected Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida in the US, while also managing to provide timely aid to the Australian communities who are still recovering from the effects of the bushfires.
In the video, Ford further states that while there isn’t anything particularly glamorous about what the organisation does, it is still very important. He reminded, “The work that Airlink does is essential because in the aftermath of a disaster, time is a critical factor and passenger and cargo airlines count on them as a facilitator and logistics expert that understands both NGO and airline needs.”
“The airlines know that by working with Airlink as its partners, there will be minimum disruption to the core business operations dramatically increasing the support they are able to contribute. It is important work that results in the delivery of food, water, shelter, expert volunteers, aid workers as well as compassion and hope for people affected by the disasters. I am proud to be a part of the Airlink team and I urge you to join me in supporting their work,” added the 78-year-old.
The partnership is encouraging as the Indiana Jones actor is known for his love for aviation and has taken an active initiative in helping with humanitarian aid through it. He has even aptly done the voiceover for Living In The Age of Planes, a 2015 airplane documentary by National Geographic, which is produced and directed by Brian J. Terwilliger.