A fully loaded Norwegian aircraft with emergency aid headed for The Central African Republic (CAR) last week. The transport of vital aid was a collaboration between UNICEF and Norwegian. For more than ten months, children and families in Bangui in CAR have been helpless victims of a brutal war.
Last week, Norwegian provided an aircraft and crew to bring emergency aid like medicines and other life-saving equipment to CAR. In addition to providing an aircraft with crew, Norwegian also gave an additional 500 000 NOK towards the project in order to achieve the goal of collecting three million NOK and to fill all available space on the plane with vital emergency aid. This meant that the "fill a plane" campaign, which has been ongoing since August this year, had sufficient funds to fill the aircraft’s cargo, overhead bins and all seats with medicines and other necessities.
One of the world's forgotten crises
Norwegian began its journey to CAR from Oslo to Copenhagen, where the aircraft was loaded with emergency aid from UNICEF’s Supply Division Warehouse. The aircraft then headed to the airport in Bangui, CAR. UNICEF and Norwegian have been partners for many years. Together they have decided to highlight one of the world's forgotten crises, where 2.3 million children are suffering. One million people have been displaced in the civil war-torn country, and lack the most basic of equipment to survive. The violence in the country is ruthless, and children are not spared. Norwegian and UNICEF Norway have cooperated in this campaign to fill a plane with emergency equipment, which has included fundraising among many passengers.
“I would like to thank our passengers and colleagues at Norwegian for helping children in CAR by donating money to UNICEF's important work and our joint ‘fill a plane’ project. UNICEF and Norwegian's common goal was to fill every available space on board with vital equipment,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos at Norwegian.
“I would like to thank Norwegian and its passengers who have helped us to fill the plane with lifesaving emergency relief. This important cargo enables us to provide even more children the opportunity to survive and to have a more dignified life,” said UNICEF Norway's Secretary General Bernt G. Apeland, who saw the suffering in CAR first hand together with Bjørn Kjos last week.
UNICEF is present in more than 190 countries around the world and has a big presence in CAR. The world's largest organization for children coordinates relief efforts within health, water / sanitation and schools, and is also a key player in getting child soldiers released and for the protection of children in general. UNICEF's appeal to the world community is to contribute 500 million NOK to CAR, however, today, just 37 percent of this amount has been reached.
Norwegian and UNICEF have had a so-called signature partnership since 2007. Norwegian supports UNICEF with campaigns and travel support. Norwegian’s employees support UNICEF by donating their annual Christmas present to the organization. In 2013, Norwegian donated one NOK from each water bottle sold on board to UNICEF's important work. Norwegian turned 10 years on 1 September 2012 and marked the day with an anniversary concert at Fornebu. The profits from the concert were donated to UNICEF.
Norwegian: VP Media Relations, Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen: +47 454 56 012
UNICEF: Truls Brekke: +47 951 07 878
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, commercially branded “Norwegian”, is a low-cost airline listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Norwegian is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and third largest low cost carrier in Europe. More than 20 million passengers fly on its network per year. Norwegian has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as long-haul flights to the US and Southeast Asia. The company has a total of 417 routes to 126 destinations and employs approximately 4,500 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, UK, Spain and Thailand. The company has 258 undelivered aircraft on firm order. Norwegian was founded in 1993 and its headquarter is in Fornebu, Norway. In 2013 and 2014, Norwegian was voted Europe’s best low-cost carrier of the year by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards. Norwegian offers better leg room than most competitors, in-flight WiFi, world-class punctuality and a fleet of 100 aircraft with an average age of only 4.8 years.