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Travel to East Africa for charities - a 'race against time'

15 September 2011 10:33

Special humanitarian relief travel operator, Key Travel, is working round the clock to find flights for aid workers trying to reach the famine area in East Africa through Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.


The company’s special humanitarian fares and emphasis on ‘duty of care’ means they are much in demand by members of the Disasters Emergency Committee and other relief charities needing to get personnel and supplies to the stricken area.

As the disaster worsens, air travel through the main international gateways of Nairobi and Addis Ababa are in ever greater demand by charity workers. Staff at Key Travel are reporting exhaustive efforts to find affordable rates and flexibility and are now mixing and matching outbound and inbound airline carriers to accommodate the essential travel.

Serena Barkes of Save the Children reports that they are recruiting emergency workers to help stem the worst drought crisis in the region for 60 years. They are keen to send additional emergency experts out to affected areas to help with the ongoing disaster.

With full flights due largely to holiday makers, Key Travel is providing minute by minute information on any cancellations, assisting with visas and bending over backwards to try and find suitable travel alternatives. According to Key Travel Chairman, Ajaya Sodha, the missionary fares they offer are vital for aid workers who do not know how long they will be needed and therefore have to rely on flexibility and 24 hour support.  

Salma Begum from Islamic Relief reports “We have some of our staff out in the field assessing needs for our appeal and are due to send out another more senior delegation shortly.” She is liaising with Key Travel over logistics as she knows only too well the number of safeguards that need to be in place for missions of this kind. 

“With increasing numbers of refugees desperately in need of food and help arriving each day the situation is critical - a race against time,” continues Ajaya Sodha.  “Aid workers have to go at short notice to some of the most inhospitable and risky places around the globe. Getting these crucial people to where they need to be to conduct their vital work as quickly and efficiently as possible is of paramount importance to us.“

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