When disaster hit Texas, Florida, the Caribbean islands, Mexico, employees of Delta Air Lines and the company itself has rushed to help people in need.
Three massive hurricanes devastated Houston and the Gulf coast; much of Florida; and islands across the Caribbean; and multiple earthquakes smashing Mexican homes and cities have been left in tatters by the natural disasters.
In response, Delta Air Lines, its Cargo division, the Delta Foundation and the company’s employees partnered with the American Red Cross and other experienced non-profits, contributing $3.75 million, operating relief flights filled with thousands of pounds of water, generators, baby food and other supplies; and adding dozens of flights to evacuate tens of thousands of people to safety.
Delta’s chief executive officer, Ed Bastian says: “Delta’s commitment to the people of these communities, and our employees’ deeply ingrained culture of service, means we will work in every way possible to address the humanitarian needs.
“The people suffering from these terrible disasters are our neighbors, friends and family. We are grateful to have the ability to join in helping to serve the people in need in this time of crisis.”
Financially, Delta generally provides aid through contributions to non-profit agencies such as the American Red Cross who are on the ground and best know the needs of the affected communities.
Delta has partnered with the Red Cross since 1941 when it operated its first relief flight carrying blood for the aid group. Delta Cargo ships supplies when circumstances indicate that’s the best approach.
Delta operated two relief flights to the Houston airports after Hurricane Harvey caused historic flooding across southeast Texas. A Boeing 737 delivered cots, clothing, paper goods, fresh and non-perishable foods, personal hygiene items, water and hot meals.
Delta added dozens of flights on upsized aircraft to Florida and the Caribbean – as large as the Boeing 747, mostly reserved for international routes – to help evacuate thousands of people before Hurricane Irma hit. In all, Delta added more than 12,000 seats departing Florida and the Caribbean in the days before Irma hit.
Before Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico, Delta operated the last flight in and out of the island, evacuating 173 customers when other airlines had abandoned attempts to fly into San Juan.
Six Delta humanitarian flights flew to Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, carrying Red Cross staff, volunteers and hundreds of thousands of pounds of supplies including water, satellite phones, batteries, phone chargers and non-perishable food.
Just Tuesday, Delta operated three flights containing 33,000 pounds of water, generators, blood, food and other supplies to help people stuck at the San Juan airport and elsewhere in Puerto Rico. Delta’s Cargo team is also coordinating delivery of supplies to Puerto Rico donated by Delta business partners.