Published On | January 11, 2015

Maximus donates Ilyushin aircraft to Huda relief efforts

• Donation follows HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan call for humanitarian ‘airbridge’
• Maximus’ Ilyushin 76 aircraft departed Sharjah Airport for Levant region on 11 Jan 2015
• Humanitarian flights to deliver tonnes of urgent relief: blankets, winter clothes, food

Abu Dhabi-based Maximus Air, one of the biggest all-cargo air freight operators in the Middle East, has donated one of its aircraft to support a regional humanitarian campaign launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan earlier this month. The campaign will focus on providing urgent relief to the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the Levant region, where heavy rain, snowfall and sub-zero temperatures are forecast to follow the arrival of winter storm, Huda.

The campaign, named Tarahuma, has received widespread praise from the global community and leaders, including Save the Children. Having also garnered the support of the office of the Crown Prince of Dubai, a national committee has been formed and has set itself the target of assisting a million refugees. The UN refugee agency UNHCR has said that it is currently providing emergency assistance to 660,000 people in temporary camps and shelters, and Maximus CEO Mohammed Al Qasimi explained the motivation behind Maximus’ current involvement in the UAE-led campaign.

"We are responding to a call made by His Highness the Head of State for all sectors of society to provide immediate assistance to our brothers in Levant. Our diverse fleet is unique in the region, in both its experience of providing humanitarian assistance, and also in its ability to navigate remote landing strips. Maximus therefore decided to donate an Ilyushin flight that will deliver 45 tonnes of winter clothing and heaters from Sharjah international Airport to Marka Airport in Amman, Jordan.”

Once in Jordan, supplies delivered by Maximus will be forwarded for distribution by the local High Commissioner of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, to families living in Jordan and Lebanon, in addition to those affected in Gaza and other Palestinian regions. Wind speeds are expected to hit 110 kilometres an hour, with heavy snow fall resulting in a severe wave of piercing cold across the affected region. Temperatures are expected to drop to -4 degrees centigrade.

“The United Arab Emirates under the generous leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan stands next to our brothers and sisters in accordance with the core values that were established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan under the State of the Union. The Tarahuma campaign and others like it are not new to UAE and our pledge to help refugees during times of natural disaster has and will remain wherever they are in the world,” said Mr. Al Qassimi.