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US Aviation Industry Springs Into Action To Help Hurricane Ian Victims

  • 787-8 Dreamliner

    Boeing

    Stock Code:
    BA

    Date Founded:
    1916-07-15

    CEO:
    Dave Calhoun

    Headquarters Location:
    Chicago, USA

    Key Product Lines:
    Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Boeing 787

    Business Type:
    Planemaker

It’s fair to say that airlines have copped a bad wrap in the media as they struggled to cope with unexpectedly high post-lockdown demand. However, when disasters like Hurricanes Ian and Fiona in the US and Puerto Rico devastate lives and communities, airlines are often among the first to mobilize and lend a hand in whatever way they can.


Reports today say that more than 80 people have lost their lives in Hurricane Ian and various estimates put the damage bill at between $57 to $75 billion (€58 – €76.3 billion). According to the US ABC news, this puts it among the ten costliest storms in US history and more likely in the top five. Even at the top end of the scale, it is less than half of the $161 billion (€164 billion) in damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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Boeing has undoubtedly had a rough media profile for the last few years, but the aerospace giant has stepped up to the plate early in this disaster. Yesterday, it committed $2 million to assist with on the ground disaster recovery and relief efforts, which included a $750,000 donation to the Volunteer Florida Foundation. The foundation is Florida’s lead volunteer and national service agency that directly manages the Florida Disaster Relief fund.

Boeing employs more than 2,700 people in Florida, and their boss, President and CEO Dave Calhoun, said the destruction left behind in the wake of Hurricane Ian is devastating and heartbreaking.

“Our thoughts go out to our colleagues and all those impacted by the storms. Boeing and our teammates stand ready to support the people of Florida, and we are hopeful that this assistance will help with ongoing search and rescue missions, as well as bring some relief to those who are suffering.”

Allegiant announced a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross and activated an online giving platform for anyone wishing to make an immediate donation. Allegiant serves ten airports throughout Florida and is building the sunseeker resort in Charlotte Harbor, near Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), one of the communities hardest hit by the hurricane. Put simply, donating money is the most efficient way to make a difference immediately, which is why Allegiant and the American Red Cross have activated a microsite for disaster relief donations.

Delta Air Lines joined in the flurry of announcements yesterday, increasing its contribution to the American Red Cross to $500,000, doubling the $250,000 previously committed. The airline has also set up a microsite for donations, starting from $10, which the donor can direct to Hurricane Fiona, Hurricane Ian or ‘where it is needed most.’ American Airlines has linked AAdvantage Miles to disaster relief donations and will award ten bonus miles for every dollar donated to the Red Cross between now and October 15, with a minimum donation of $25.

United Airlines says it will match up to $150,000 and five million MileagePlus miles for donations to storm relief efforts. Until the end of the month, United Airlines will credit bonus miles for donations through its Miles on a Mission initiative. The program helps many charitable organizations, including the Red Cross, Americares and World Central Kitchen.

Apart from making direct donations, numerous airlines, including Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, are waiving flight change fees for affected areas. Hats off to all who are supporting the relief efforts, and a big tick for those aviation companies donating and making it easy for others to contribute.

Please send us your comments on how the aviation industry responds to disasters.

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