Air Partner winds down Ebola relief work

Between 26 October 2014 and 11 November 2015 Air Partner's Freight team operated a total of 128 flights between the UK and Freetown, Sierra Leone, and the Private Jets division is still operating a helicopter on a wet lease to this day.

Air Partner ebola

Air Partner Ebola aid
At the peak of the crisis the Group was operating flights every 48 hours carrying cargo of medical equipment and supplies, vehicles, construction materials and protective clothing. On behalf of many of its humanitarian aid and disaster response clients, Air Partner has arranged the air transportation of large quantities of medical equipment and supplies from the United States, Europe and the Middle East to both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Using its extensive network of relationships and working around the clock, the team has been able to secure overflight permits and landing permits to ensure that life-saving supplies were delivered rapidly.

The cargo on these flights has been central to the fight against Ebola; for example, two flights from the UK to Freetown last October carried all the equipment necessary to construct and run a 92 bed treatment facility, including ambulances, tents, generators, air conditioning units and lighting sets. Shipments from the UN World Food Programme have included 14,500kg of blankets, tarpaulins, sleeping pads, water tanks, jerry cans, generators and tents aboard a B737-400F from Accra in Ghana to Freetown, and a further 15,600kg of aid from Accra to Roberts Airport in Liberia.

The very nature of the crisis has required all involved in the relief effort to be ready for anything at a moment’s notice. Air Partner, for instance, was called upon for assistance with a helicopter medivac deployment in Sierra Leone, but the client was unable to definitively inform the team the scope of the mission or even confirm that the helicopter would even be needed. Airlifting medical supplies has also proved particularly problematic, given the exacting environment in which they need to be kept. Air Partner worked closely with a world-leading company that specialises in secure cold chain logistics solutions within the life science industries to implement a process by which temperature sensitive medical supplies were flown to Freetown on a regular basis in temperature controlled units.

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