Air Canada provides rescue flights to evacuate New Orleans
In response to a request from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Air Canada is participating along with U.S. member airlines of the Air Transport Association, in a voluntary airline industry initiative to support rescue and relief operations in the region ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Air Canada today dispatched an Airbus A321 aircraft from Toronto to New Orleans, Louisiana, carrying bottled water and relief supplies. As part of the disaster relief effort organized by the Department of Homeland Security, Air Canada will operate shuttle flights on a continuous basis over the next several days to assist in the evacuation of approximately 25,000 victims, from New Orleans to the safety of Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas.
Since Air Canada received the request for assistance yesterday evening from the Air Transport Association, of which it is a member, Air Canada employees worked around the clock to prepare and dispatch the donated aircraft and voluntary crew for the shuttle mission. The Air Canada Airbus A321 is the largest narrow-body aircraft in its fleet, capable of carrying up to 166 passengers and 5,600 kg of cargo.
"On behalf of the more than 30,000 employees of Air Canada and the entire ACE group of companies, I want to express our sadness and extend our condolences to those affected by this terrible catastrophe," said Robert Milton, Chairman, President and CEO of ACE Aviation Holdings, on board the first flight as it departed Toronto today at 1:00 p.m. en route to New Orleans. "Air Canada is proud to represent Canada in this relief effort and contribute to help those in greatest need, as quickly as possible."
In addition, Air Canada today announced a partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to help raise funds to assist people affected by Hurricane Katrina. Beginning as early as Saturday September 3, 2005, Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz flight attendants will distribute and collect Red Cross donation envelopes on flights across its North American network in Canada and the U.S.
Vicky Karantzavelou (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- Monday, September 05, 2005.