Air Charter Service (ACS) has arranged more than 40 charter flights to Turkey and Syria since the deadly earthquakes hit the border area of the two countries early in February.
The global aircraft charter provider said its team have been round the clock, initially flying in search and rescue teams the day after they struck, and since transporting more than 2,000 tonnes of humanitarian cargo on behalf of governments and humanitarian organisations (NGOs).
Source: Air Charter Service (ACS)
"We started receiving calls for help early on the Monday before the second earthquake had struck. Most importantly for the search and rescue personnel ready to go, Gaziantep Airport — nearest the epicentre — was still fully operational. By the following day, we had flown German and British teams there, as well as someone from our Frankfurt office, to oversee the smooth operation of the following charters," said Ben Dinsdale, director of government and humanitarian services.
He added that later in the week, ACS started flying in relief cargo, with its first flight being an entire field hospital on a Boeing 747 from Spain.
"We have now transported more than 2,000 tonnes of relief cargo on a wide variety of aircraft, including Boeing 737s, 747s, 757s and 777s, Airbus A300s and A330s, and Ilyushin 76s," Dinsdale said, noting that the cargo has included shelters, tents, blankets, food and drink supplies, as well as the field hospital.
ACS noted that the cargo flights have come from all around the globe, including Asia, the US, the Middle East, Northern Europe and even the Canary Islands.
"We still have several charters booked that will fly in the next couple of weeks," the ACS executive said.