Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has arranged more than 130 charter flights so far in response to the various hurricanes that have ravaged the Caribbean and some of the southern states in the US, transporting both passengers and cargo.
Justin Bowman, ACS’s CEO, said: “Our US offices were already busy arranging charters in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas when Hurricanes Irma and Maria left a path of destruction across the Atlantic Basin. We are still arranging charters every day to send aid to those affected. So far we have arranged more than 130 flights, evacuating groups of people and carrying a total of almost 3,000 tonnes of humanitarian cargo in the past four weeks.
“We have ACS staff on the ground in San Juan, helping to coordinate the movements of the aircraft and ensuring that the aid gets to those who need it as quickly as possible. We have arranged charters for various American specialist freight forwarders as well as the British government’s Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence – one of which was a helicopter on board an Antonov 124 aircraft. The helicopter has since been used to distribute aid more effectively as many of the airports in the area were badly damaged and unable to accept fixed wing aircraft.
“The majority of the cargo has been the usual mix of relief goods however, such as shelter kits, water bottles and ration packs for the victims left homeless on islands such as Barbados and Puerto Rico.
“In the lead up to the hurricanes hitting, our passenger division was also working hard, chartering more than 20 aircraft to evacuate groups of people from the region.”