Commitment by Airlink

In 2020, Airlink committed to work with its global air carrier network through the AviationC.A.R.E.S. (Coordinated Air Response for Emergecny Supplies) to develop a dynamic airfreight distribution network to support NGOs responding to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the associated economic downturn and movement and business restrictions, have had a severe impact on logistics and transportation that humanitarian organizations depend on for effective service delivery. In response, Airlink will work with aviation sector and NGO partners to facilitate rapid and sustained transportation of relief aid to areas in need of health and emergency supplies globally. By closing logistical gaps, leveraging economies of scale, and accelerating planned shipments of PPE and other key goods, Airlink and its partners will move an estimated 500 tons of emergency supplies to communities impacted by COVID-19, particularly those already experiencing or anticipating other humanitarian challenges.






Est. Duration

1 year

Estimated Total Value



Latin America & Caribbean


Colombia; Ethiopia; Iraq; Malawi; Philippines; Uganda; United States; Venezuela

Commitment by


Partner(s) of the Commitment Maker(s)


In collaboration with the aviation sector, Airlink is executing a dynamic distribution mechanism to support responding NGOs around the world. By providing support for the movement of emergency cargo and aid workers, Airlink strives to provide air logistics expertise and leverage economies of scale in order to move an estimated 500 tons of needed supplies and experts from a variety of NGO partners into vulnerable areas globally.

This AviationC.A.R.E.S. program will be executed in partnership with Airlink’s nonprofit partner organizations that focus on providing medical and relief supplies, as well as with Airlink’s freight forwarding partner, Flexport, and Airlink’s global network of air carriers and aviation donors.
This program will be made possible through the activation of the AviationC.A.R.E.S. initiative, which will facilitate rapid and sustained transportation of immediate relief aid to areas in need of health and other emergency supplies across the globe. Additional origins in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East will be considered on a case-by-case basis, dependent on demand from NGO partners.

To bolster the response to the ongoing crisis, Airlink will focus on ensuring supply chains that support fragile health systems are reliable and functional. Airlink’s aviation partners are well-placed to close the logistical gap in delivering life-saving and life-sustaining supplies and medicines to disaster-prone communities, leveraging the organization’s logistics expertise in order to find creative solutions to supply chain issues. Working with Airlink NGO partners to identify needs, Airlink will facilitate fast and consistent deliveries of medicines and essential health supplies to communities affected by COVID-19.

To support increased preparedness, this program will also help develop avenues to help NGOs accelerate already-planned shipments of primary care supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), infection prevention and control (IPC) and other general humanitarian supplies so that they can support readiness for a pandemic response in various existing humanitarian contexts.

Phase 1: February-June
Response to critical, high-density outbreaks (transport of critical supplies). This includes China and the US, as well as other countries experiencing significant spikes.

Phase 2: June-September
All activities in Phase 1 + Ensuring continuity of health services in communities overwhelmed by COVID-19 response (transport of supplies and relief personnel).

Phase 3: October-Ongoing
All activities in Phases 1 & 2 + Rebuilding resilient supply chains and communities (transport of supplies and relief personnel). Likely responses to include WASH, food security, health, and capacity building.


More than six months into the COVID-19 outbreak, 190 countries have been affected. The crisis has now grown to pandemic levels, with impact to highly developed and developing countries alike. This pandemic has caused breakages across the supply chain, creating an extremely challenging environment in which to deliver services that help communities in crisis.

Since the initial January 30 public health emergency declaration, medical masks and other personal protective equipment have been in high demand, and manufacturers are overwhelmed. Due to significant price increases of key commodities, NGOs are experiencing a highly competitive environment, competing with governments and private sector in all facets of the supply chain. NGOS must make difficult decisions, balancing procurement of supplies against paying for timely transportation. Reducing the cost and logistical barriers to efficient transportation will allow NGOs to focus solely on service delivery.

Air carriers remain supportive of the COVID-19 response with the limited resources available. Commercial carriers have had to cut flights globally due to low demand for passenger travel, taking belly space off the market. With that capacity at a historic low, demand for airfreight is currently 4-5 times the available supply. There are reports of charter rates skyrocketing, with prices now three times the norm for a trans-Pacific flight. Meanwhile, airfreight demand is not consolidated on a single origin or destination; thus, it is difficult to predict spikes in demand for airfreight and supplies.

Export restrictions in the US, UK, Germany, and India are causing significant issues for organizations procuring in-kind supplies for at-risk developing countries. Likewise, NGOs report significant issues in clearing goods, reporting that high-demand items like masks may be requisitioned.

Finally, there are significant concerns globally about last-mile transportation due to the constantly changing movement restrictions in each affected and/or vulnerable country.

Partnership Opportunities

Airlink anticipates the need for in-kind and financial resources totaling approximately US$10,000,000 to adequately support the rapid deployment of relief supplies and personnel needed by the global humanitarian NGO community over the next eight months. These funds will be used to offset logistics and airfreight costs as well as to support the implementation of global relief aid coordination and delivery. Airlink is providing free-of-charge logistical and airlift support for nonprofit organizations and not-for-profit health entities (hospitals and clinics, and governments acting on behalf of these entities) to support movement of critical health, water/sanitation and hygiene, and other non-health safety net supplies (food, solar lights, etc.) for communities experiencing and/or anticipating spikes in COVID-19. Where possible, Airlink can also facilitate movement of healthcare workers within the US.

Progress Reports