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Airlines from around the world have banded together to support the Turkish rescue effort.

Aircraft, whether military or commercial, play a crucial role in the rescue effort when a severe natural catastrophe occurs.

With the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023, which resulted in extensive destruction and tens of thousands of fatalities, this has undoubtedly been the case.

Airlines from around the globe have sprang into action to help with the rescue and relief efforts by donating their most vital resources: their aircraft.

We previously discussed how Turkish Airlines and Pegasus, Turkey’s two biggest airlines, were assisting these initiatives (and to that we should also add SunExpress, another airline based in the country). To transport emergency personnel and supplies to the impacted area, various additional carriers have now sent aircraft.

A (not exhaustive) list of airlines that have declared their involvement in one form or another in the vast multinational rescue mission that has been happening for the past two weeks has been collected by us.

Emirates sent two flights loaded with supplies shortly after the earthquake struck and later established what it calls “a humanitarian air bridge” to bring over 100 tons of supplies, working closely with various aid and relief organizations. Qatar Airways and Azerbaijan Airlines were among the first to send aircraft loaded with emergency aid.

One of the nearest airports to the catastrophe area, Gaziantep Airport (GZT), was served by a Vueling A320 with eight tons of supplies given by the Spanish and Catalan Red Cross groups; Wamos, a charter company based in Spain, is another airline that has contributed to relief efforts by transporting a team of 111 rescuers and 3 canines on an Airbus A330; Along with Khalsa Help, British Airlines ran a relief trip; Lufthansa contributed by deploying one of its Boeing 777 cargo planes; the same type of aircraft (but configured for passengers) sent to the area by Portuguese operator Euroatlantic; Although tensions between Greece and Turkey are often high, when a crisis occurs, these tensions can be temporarily set aside.

Many of Aegean Airlines’ planes have been put to use supporting the rescue efforts in southeast Turkey. The Czech airline Smartwings has also contributed to the effort, while Austrian Airlines flew rescue crews, including several dogs, to Turkey and back.

Middle Eastern Airlines, Saudia, and Pakistan International Airlines aircraft have also been among those swarming to the area;

El Al announced the return of regular flights to Turkey after a 16-year absence in addition to sending over numerous aircraft as part of the relief operation;

Not to mention, airlines from as far away as Mongolia’s MIAT have been running flights in the catastrophe zone.

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