Private Aircraft To The Rescue

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In the wake of airline chaos in the burgeoning number of trouble spots around the world, private aviation is filling a void and British company Air Partner, which can arrange aircraft that can carry up to 650 people, has been especially busy evacuating expatriates from places they and their families would rather not be. As we reported in February, evacuations began with the political crises in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt and in recent weeks Mother Nature has shifted the focus to New Zealand and Japan. "In a period when far-reaching and unprecedented political upheaval has coincided with devastating natural disasters ... Air Partner has been working around the clock to organize humanitarian aid flights and to evacuate more than 12,000 people from across the world in just six weeks," the company said in a news release.

Not all the flights are one-way out, however. The company dispatched a Boeing 767 to earthquake-torn Japan on March 12 that carried rescue personnel, search dogs and specialized equipment for freeing trapped victims. Meanwhile, a group of German companies was able to evacuate 477 of its people on a Boeing 747. Air Partner is just one company providing these services but it's the one AVweb has heard from. Do you have airplanes helping with the crisis in Japan? Let us know at newstips@avweb.com.