Initiative will enable rapid-response travel to crisis zones for NGO humanitarian workers
London, UK – 16 November 2023 – American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and humanitarian relief organization Airlink have announced a new partnership to help first responders travel more quickly to disaster areas.
Airlink provides free transport for a vetted network of more than 200 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charities around the world, assisting communities in the aftermath of disasters. The new initiative will see Amex GBT deploying bespoke travel booking solutions and services for Airlink and its NGO partners, to streamline and speed up the complex process of getting rapid-response emergency relief workers to where they need to be.
The partnership will also see many of the NGO travel bookings managed by Amex GBT travel counselor volunteers supporting Amex GBT’s social impact travel desk. The partnership is expected to be operational in early 2024.
The new initiative builds upon Amex GBT’s existing partnerships with Miles4Migrants and Welcome.US, which to date have helped move more than 12,400 refugees and migrants from danger to safety.
Evan Konwiser, Amex GBT’s Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, said, “We believe that travel powers progress, and one of the best examples is moving people when it matters most. We are backing our beliefs with actions and partnerships. In addition to our work with Miles4Migrants and Welcome.US, we are excited to launch this new initiative with Airlink to support communities in time of crisis.”
Steve Smith, Airlink’s President and CEO, said: “Airlink manages thousands of ticket bookings for disaster responders, across multiple global airlines. We are thrilled by this partnership, which will help us speed up the process of getting responders where they are needed. It’s a great example of how the skills, expertise, and resources of the private and humanitarian sectors can be harnessed to bring aid and hope to people impacted by natural and man-made disasters”.
About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) is the world’s leading B2B travel platform, providing software and services to manage travel, expenses, and meetings & events for companies of all sizes. We have built the most valuable marketplace in B2B travel to deliver unrivalled choice, value and experiences. With travel professionals in more than 140 countries, our customers and travelers enjoy the powerful backing of American Express Global Business Travel.
Airlink (www.airlinkflight.org) is a nonprofit organization providing free air transport and logistical coordination for pre-screened nonprofits to deliver disaster responders and supplies in the wake of humanitarian crises worldwide. Airlink receives in-kind gifts from airlines and donations from grant-making bodies, and organizations and individuals within the aviation sector. Its network includes over 200 aid organizations and 50 air carriers and logistics partners. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink’s airline partners have flown nearly 11,000 relief workers and transported more than 12 million pounds of humanitarian cargo, saving nonprofits over $33 million in air transport costs and directly helping over 46 million people. In 2022, the humanitarian aid Airlink moved assisted almost 13 million people in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters. For more information, please visit www.airlinkflight.org.
Paul Revel, Director, Global Communications, Amex GBT
Andrew Williams, Communications Director, Airlink