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Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) is ramping up its activities as a hub for humanitarian aid. At the end of last week, two further relief planes took off from the airport, destined for Windhoek, Namibia. 

The Antonov 124 aircraft on boarded urgently needed medical supplies, including masks and ventilators, for this South African country. So far, the German government has supplied more than 600 pallets of relief cargo, which has been flown to the area by Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines. The AN-124 was loaded by PortGround, a subsidiary of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG specialising in cargo and ramp handling. 

Earlier this year Volga-Dnepr Group and Leipzig/Halle Airport inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the aim to strengthen Humanitarian Hub at LEJ. 

“Not only do these flights demonstrate our commitment toward Humanitarian sector but also come as a logical step for further development of long-lasting strategic cooperation between LEJ and Volga-Dnepr Group“ emphasises Yulia Celetaria, the Global Healthcare Director for the Volga-Dnepr Group. “Our recent flights to Namibia, organized in cooperation with our customer Maersk, are one of the roadmap’s steps. Our flights to Namibia come the same week as we transport firefighting equipment to Greece and vaccine production machinery to India, which shows our readiness to support aid and relief sector.”

As part of the rescEU programme, also initiated by ECHO, there are plans to establish a new civil protection logistics centre at Leipzig/Halle Airport. The German Red Cross (DRK) will be setting up the site not far from the airport. The two partners also cooperated closely together on the flights’ preparation, enabling the action to pass off smoothly and rapidly.

Alongside its regular passenger and freight traffic, Leipzig/Halle Airport also serves as a hub for medical relief supplies and protective equipment. In the first half of 2021, for example, in addition to regular air traffic, some 70 cargo charter flights were already handled, carrying millions of Covid-19 tests and PPE.


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