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Airline Staff Aid for Haiti Hailed


Charles Kao
"American airline staff are doing an amazing and largely unheralded job in Haiti," asserts a development expert close to the post earthquake relief efforts in the Caribbean nation.

Charles Kao, chairman of the Innovation for Sustainable Development Centre (ISDC), pointed to the work of Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) (www.airlineambassadors.org) which he said had organized and "paid out of their own pockets for 17 airplanes full of aid and trained medical professionals."

"Over 600 medical personnel and some two million pounds of food, water, and other relief supplies," Kao noted, "had not only been transported by Airline Ambassadors but their people on the ground in Haiti were able to land and distribute the aid quickly."

"It's not too surprising as Airline Ambassadors International brings together people from all sectors of the US carriers, from cabin to ground staff, logistics, catering, planning, construction and health - all skills much in demand," said Kao who is also chairman of Green Globe International.

"The travel and tourism industry, through their sterling work in the wake of the earthquake, deserve to be heard when serious talks are underway for international assistance to help Haiti recover from this devastation," urged Kao.

Formed 18 years ago by American Airlines cabin attendant, Nancy Rivard, Airline Ambassadors draws staffers from several US-based carriers. In addition to American Airlines and United Airlines, Airline Ambassadors is also supported by JetBlue Airways, individuals and foundations.

The Caribbean Media Exchange, in partnership with Canadian-based Pacific Island community organizer Maria Noa Habchi, will support AAI's humanitarian efforts for Haiti at a "Haitian Carnival" cultural event this Sunday, February 28 at Toronto's Lula Lounge at 7 p.m. (1585 Dundas St. West).

The Caribbean Media Exchange provides a neutral platform for the continuing discussion of the key linkages between media, government, private sector and civil society in ensuring tourism enhances the health, environment, education, culture, and wealth of destinations in a climate friendly fashion.