The Caribbean Island is still badly suffering from the devastations effected by hurricane ‘Maria’. That’s why the freight carrier deployed one of their MD-11 freighters loaded with relief goods as a humanitarian effort.
In 2010, LH Cargo together with the “Help Alliance” was at the forefront sending relief aid and medicines to Haiti in support of the survivors of the catastrophic earthquake that claimed 316,000
lives, displacing over 1.5 million Haitians. Seven years after, it’s now the inhabitants of Puerto Rico the carrier decided to help, bringing 70 tons of drinking water and over 10 tons of
foodstuffs and apparel to the Caribbean Island.
The MD-11F, coming from Frankfurt, landed at Aguadilla Airport on the West Coast of Puerto Rico early on Sunday morning. Aguadilla has become a kind of home for the LH Group who runs a maintenance facility there since 2014, providing technical services for different operators of aircraft belonging to the Airbus A320 family.
Caribbean hotspot for technical aircraft services
The Lufthansa ‘Technik’ Facility in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (LTPR) was opened in February 2014. Initial orders came from some of the main U.S. carriers, and this enabled the service site to develop rapidly in becoming one of the important providers for aircraft overhaul and repair for U.S. airlines. Additionally, ‘LTPR’ introduced the first training program for the United States Department of Labor in the servicing, maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft. The program is being run in conjunction with the Aeronautical and Aerospace Institute of Puerto Rico, a non-profit corporate subsidiary of the University of Puerto Rico.
“As a close partner of Puerto Rico, we are not only lending backup support for the workforce of ‘Lufthansa Technik’ and their families locally, but also for the communities in the vicinity, who have been working together with us also closely and with confidence from day one,” stated Johannes Bussmann, President of the Management Board of Hamburg-based Lufthansa Technik AG.
U.S. carriers provided immediate support
Right after ‘Maria’ had devastated many parts of the tropical island, the LTPR customers ‘Spirit Airlines’ and ‘jetBlue’ stepped in providing assistance to the staff and the neighborhood. A storage place for relief goods was immediately made available at the airport for sorting and distributing them.
“We must really thank our partners and friends of ‘Spirit’ and ‘jetBlue’. It is comforting to know that one can depend on friends during difficult occasions,” said Bussmann.
So did Lufthansa’s Help Alliance
The relief goods flown to Aguadilla are handed over to the 400 employees of Lufthansa’s Puerto Rican technical facility, their families and to neighbouring communities that were hit hard by hurricane ‘Maria’ and are still suffering from its devastating effects.
The charitable aid organization of the Lufthansa Group ‘Help Alliance’ orchestrated the Puerto Rico project, similar to their Haiti support seven years ago.
In Germany, participants of this relief effort have predominantly been retailer Hassia, the Metro Group, as well as LSG Skychefs with donations. Kuehne + Nagel, Georgi and Orgalog provided valuable transport assistance.
Trump affronts Puerto Ricans
In the meantime, U.S. President Donald Trump attacked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz in two tweets, accusing her of “poor leadership,” claiming that the locals were not rolling up their sleeves to help themselves. “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
Both tweets were sent from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
His statements slamming Cruz and other officials on their own response efforts as Puerto Rico struggles to deal with the disaster have sparked a firestorm of critical reaction online.