Since last week, Air Charter Service has been working around the clock to arrange flights to send aid to Libya following Storm Daniel and has already chartered aircraft carrying over 500 tons to the country, with more to follow in the coming days. The storm caused catastrophic floods, leading to more than 11,000 losing their lives and thousands more displaced due to the extensive damage caused.
Ben Dinsdale, Director for Government and Humanitarian Services at ACS, commented: “At the weekend we had our first flights to Libya, into Benghazi, Al Abraq and Tobruk airports, with several more booked over the coming days – they mostly are carrying aid including shelter equipment, such as tarpaulins, tents and sleeping bags, as well as water purification tablets.
“Our European and Middle East offices have been the busiest in arranging these charters and so far we have used a variety of aircraft, including Boeing 747, Airbus A300 and Ilyushin IL-76. We are still receiving requests now, but the rate at which they are coming in has slowed down.”
Storm Daniel came just a week after the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco, which also caused a large loss of life, as well as widespread destruction. Dinsdale continued: “It seems unbelievable that there were two such devastating natural disasters, so near to each other geographically and in such a short period of time – I can’t remember anything remotely similar to this happening before. We were at the stage of trying to arrange a number of search and rescue flights into Morocco when the Moroccan government announced that it had restricted aid senders to just four governments. Then we heard about Libya, and most governments’ and NGOs’ attention turned to helping the victims there.”