United Airlines, Airlink, Sewa International partner to delivery medical equipment to India
United Airlines is teaming up with Airlink, the rapid-response nonprofit, and Hindu faith-based humanitarian aid nonprofit Sewa International, to facilitate the delivery of up to six shipments of medical equipment and aid to India. The shipments will help local Indian organizations support the communities impacted by the surge of Covid-19 cases, which has stressed local health systems and created a shortage in Covid-19 related medical supplies.
The contents of the six shipments include 2,402 oxygen concentrators, 256 coventors, 18 bi-pap machines, and 105 pulse oximeters. The cargo volume is equivalent to the load of an entire 767 aircraft. Due to the high quantity of supplies, the humanitarian aid will be split up over at least six shipments from Newark to Delhi.
“Sewa International swung into action as soon as reports of the vast and dangerous sweep of the second wave of COVID-19 began to overwhelm the Indian healthcare system. Given the logistical challenges of procuring medical equipment here in the U.S. and shipping it to India, we sought support from cargo carriers and partners who had the capacity and the generosity to come to our aid,” said Arun Kankani, President, Sewa International. “We appreciate United Airlines and Airlink supporting this need and acting urgently to help facilitate the medical equipment shipment. As a Hindu faith-based charitable organization, we believe that the world is one family, that we are linked together in this fight to defeat the pandemic.”
Airlink’s primary sponsor and aviation partner, United Airlines, will transport the inaugural airlift coordinated between both organizations. The shipment, destined for New Delhi, will be one of Airlink’s largest single shipments to date, and the third consecutive shipment of Airlink’s Operation Airlift India program, launched in April as an urgent response to India’s critical Covid-19 surge.
“Over the last several weeks, our United teams have been helping transport lifesaving medical equipment to India during this time of critical need,” said Suzi Cabo, managing director of global community engagement for United Airlines. “We are proud to work with Airlink and non-profits like Sewa International to help facilitate these shipments to support those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in India.”
Sewa International, a Hindu-based organization specializing in disaster relief and rehabilitation, was referred to Airlink by United Airlines and the Every Breath Counts Coalition. Sewa India has more than 1,000 volunteers actively distributing supplies to people across 21 states in coordination with 25 nodal centers in India. They will assist with the distribution of the arriving medical supplies. It is estimated that nearly 3,000 critically ill people will initially benefit from supplies contained in the United, Airlink, and Sewa International shipment, with the hope that key items of equipment can be reused to serve new groups of patients every 10-30 days.
“The Airlink team is thrilled to be coordinating this movement of aid to India and to be bringing all of the supporting parties together,’ said Steven J Smith, Airlink President and CEO. “This is our first program response with Sewa International and we look forward to working with them again. We are always impressed by how United Airlines seeks to support Airlink and our nonprofit partners, no matter the challenges of a particular response.”