On Jan. 13, 2010, the day after Haiti was hit by an earthquake and aftershocks that shattered the country, American Airlines and American Eagle flew into action, sending humanitarian aid to provide relief for its more than 100 employees who work at Toussaint Louverture International Airport — all of whom, thankfully, survived the earthquake — and to help local hospitals in Port-au-Prince administer help to the many victims.
During the first week following the quake, eight American Eagle aircraft arrived in Port-au-Prince from San Juan, Puerto Rico, carrying 80,000 pounds of humanitarian aid that included water, medical supplies, food and shoes. American Eagle flew ATR-72 aircraft on these missions.
On Jan. 20, American began flying relief missions from its hub in Miami, using Boeing 737 aircraft and transporting evacuees, as determined by the U.S. State Department, on the return flights. On three missions in late January, AA evacuated more than 400 survivors.
American also flew a mission for the U.S. Department of Defense from Miami using a Boeing 767 aircraft, ferrying military personnel and other government officials into Haiti. On the return flight, American evacuated 179 people from Haiti.
In total, American Airlines and American Eagle transported more than 400,000 pounds of aid to Haiti. Together, we have flown 30 relief missions, transporting medical personnel, relief workers and humanitarian supplies, including bottled water, food, medicine and other nonperishable goods.
American and American Eagle are working with more than 30 organizations, including Airline Ambassadors International, the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Red Cross, the Archdiocese of Puerto Rico, Boy Scouts of Puerto Rico, the Haitian Consulate in Miami, UNICEF, Yele Haiti and many more.
One effort of note was conducted by American Eagle and the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts. American helped the AE and Sandals teams coordinate relief flights from San Juan to Haiti three times a week through Feb. 23.
Employees Reach Out to Help Haiti American Airlines and American Eagle employees around the globe continue to help the people of Haiti. At press time, American’s 16 Employee Resource Groups, which reflect a wide range of communities within American’s diverse employee population, have raised more than $30,000.
Domestic employees are making donations to the internal American Giving Disaster Relief Fund, to which the American Airlines and American Eagle Family Fund have pledged to make a matching gift of up to $10,000. Employees have donated more than $85,000 to date.
All money raised in January and February through American’s Champions for Children program will be donated to Haiti relief efforts. The Champions for Children employee volunteers support the UNICEF Change for Good program at American, in which participating flight attendants and Admirals Club employees ask customers to donate their unused foreign or domestic currency.
The American Airlines Credit Union has set up a special fund and is asking all members, including those who are not AA employees, to make donations through this account, which benefits the American Red Cross. More than $30,000 has been donated since the fund was established on Jan. 16. For more information, call the credit union at (800) 533-0035.
More than 350 American Airlines and American Eagle employees helped answer phones at American’s Southern Reservations Office during the star-studded “Hope for Haiti” telethon on Jan. 22 to help celebrities such as George Clooney, Wyclef Jean, Anderson Cooper and Bono raise money for relief efforts. Employees answered 15,000 calls during the telethon, which raised roughly $57 million.
American Helps Customers Help Haiti On Jan. 14, American’s AAdvantage members were offered a one-time award of 250 bonus AAdvantage miles for a minimum donation of $50 to the American Red Cross or 500 bonus miles for a donation of $100 or more through March 31, 2010. As of March 1, more than 12,000 AAdvantage members had donated more than $1.4 million.
Continued Support American Airlines has served the people of Haiti since 1971 and is committed to continuing to serve them as they rebuild their country. On Feb.19, First Officer Kevin Lambert piloted the first commercial flight into Haiti after the earthquake. Lambert is shown above, proudly waving the Haitian flag before the flight’s departure from Miami.