Bell Helicopter, Airlink and GE have combined efforts to match helicopter capabilities with the need to transport aid workers and supplies to in accessible regions in Haiti impacted by Hurricane Matthew, the companies said.
After the disaster hit the island, Airlink reached out to its aviation partners searching for helicopters. Airlink is an experienced rapid-response humanitarian relief organization that brings together airlines with pre-qualified non-profits. GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), a supporter of Airlink since its founding in 2010, connected Airlink with Milestone Aviation Group, the helicopter leasing company that GECAS purchased in 2015.
Milestone´s team surveyed its network of helicopter operators and manufacturers and was assisted by Bell Helicopter, which provided two helicopters and crew for relief missions in Haiti. With the newly available lift provided by Bell Helicopter, Airlink scheduled a second charter flight to Haiti with 175,000 pounds of supplies, which Bell´s team will distribute to remote areas of the island.
Airlink is a rapid-response disaster relief organization created by the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation that links airlines with pre-qualified NGOs to transport aid workers and cargo to locales in humanitarian crisis. The organization has been coordinating transportation assistance since Hurricane Matthew hit early in October.
Following the hurricane, GE Foundation, GE Capital and other GE businesses have contributed more than USD750,000 to the Haiti relief effort, including financial donations and water purification equipment. GE´s financial aid has been provided through Airlink, Hope for Haiti, Team Rubicon, Americares and St. Boniface Haiti Foundation.
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the tiltrotor aircraft.
Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company, is a helicopter leasing company with a fleet of over 215 helicopters worth USD3.7 billion and supports 32 operators in 26 countries on six continents.
About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is an aviation leasing and financing company that offers a range of aircraft types GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 1,950 aircraft, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional 400 aircraft. GECAS serves 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 25 offices.