Dubai’s Emirates airline announced Thursday that it would open an airbridge to Lebanon to provide support to the country after an enormous blast rocked the nation’s capital, Beirut, last week.
Emirates SkyCargo plans to dedicate over 50 flights to provide freight and airlift operations to Lebanon after the blast has left Beirut in tatters. A week on from the explosion that left at least 170 people dead and over 6,000 wounded, the nation remains in shock with widespread protests and government resignations.
“Emirates supports the UAE's ongoing humanitarian efforts to support Lebanon and is committed to bolster its global emergency response to ensure that it can support organisations which provide urgent care, shelter, food and medical support to the Lebanese people,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group said in a statement.
The airline has announced that people can donate money or pledge their Skywards Miles, Emirates’ frequent flier program miles, to the cause, with every donation providing cargo capacity for humanitarian relief. Critical medical equipment and supplies, food and other emergency goods are all on the list to be sent to Beirut by Emirates.
“People from all corners of the globe have been sending their support to Lebanon and we are proud to facilitate a means for them to tangibly and proactively assist the Lebanese people with relief and recovery efforts on the ground during this difficult time,” Al Maktoum added.
The airline added that it has already been supporting disaster relief efforts in Lebanon through dispatching over charter flights carrying food, clothing and medical supplies from various organizations in the UAE to the country.
The Lebanese community in the UAE has been seeking to support their home country in several ways. A program announced last week has resulted in the shipment of 138 tonnes of glass from the UAE to Beirut to help repair the damage caused by the shockwave of the blast.
The Lebanese Business Council of Abu Dhabi used its contacts in the Lebanese community in the UAE, as well as a partnership with the multinational courier company Aramex, to procure and transport the glass, which will be enough to repair around 1,000 moderate size homes in Beirut.