TORONTO, ONTARIO — An Air Canada-operated humanitarian special cargo flight on behalf of Airlink and other aid organizations departed Toronto Pearson International Airport with a final destination of Warsaw, Poland on Wednesday, March 9.

Through a partnership between Air Canada, disaster logistics non-profit Airlink, relief organization Project C.U.R.E., and freight forwarder Flexport, medical supplies and hospital beds, humanitarian and medical supplies were loaded onboard the Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Medical and trauma supplies destined for a Ukrainian hospital provided by Canadian disaster relief and life-saving humanitarian aid organization GlobalMedic were also boarded. After the flight arrives in Poland, Project C.U.R.E. will manage the distribution of supplies to hospitals treating Ukrainian civilians injured during the war, expanding the capacity of hospitals in border regions to provide care. More than two million people throughout Ukraine have now fled their homes after the invasion seeking safety in neighbouring countries. Primary care has been identified by aid agencies as one of the most pressing needs.

Earlier this week, medical supplies were picked up from the Project C.U.R.E. warehouse in Illinois, transported to Chicago O'Hare airport and tendered to Air Canada by Flexport. Air Canada Cargo subsequently transported the supplies to its Cargo facility at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Non-profit disaster logistics expert Airlink exists to help remove the cost of air transportation as a barrier to NGOs responding to disasters and other humanitarian crises. It was able to use its long-term partnership with Air Canada, and support from donors, to secure the cargo-only flight making the delivery of this shipment possible. Airlink also has transported 42 relief workers for 11 non-profit organizations providing medical care, food, mental health counseling, clean water, and other essentials to Ukrainian refugees.

Air Canada has worked together with Airlink and GlobalMedic to transport responders and aid on a number of missions, most recently in response to British Columbia's devastating wildfires and floods.