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DEFLOG Crisis Response ConceptSourcing an Aircraft for Disaster Aid Flight

In the small hours of February 6th, 2023 a 7,8 Richter earthquake shook the ground in southeast Turkey and Syria. After the initial quake, a series of aftershocks followed and left millions of people displaced, and hundreds of thousands of people living in temporary shelters in devastating conditions without adequate food, water, shelter, sanitation, or other necessities. By now we know that more than 55,000 people have died and numerous others have been injured in the area. The scale of this humanitarian crisis was and is immense.

International Rescue Operations

Countries like Estonia and Finland may provide international rescue service assistance upon the request of another country, the EU, or an international organization. In Finland, the deployment of international rescue operations is organized by the Ministry of the Interior and the Emergency Services Academy Finland (ESAF). 

Ministry is responsible for the coordination and maintenance of assistance capacity, while the ESAF is responsible for, among other things, logistics. The relief flights from Finland to the disaster area were coordinated by the ESAF and they contracted Euroflite to source the aircraft for the aid operation. For the Estonian Team, the request came from Estonian officials.

Two Operations in Urgent Need of an Aircraft

The first call was actually received Monday morning from the Estonian side, which sent the first relief flight to the disaster area. The Finnish Team received the request to aid on Monday 6th of Feb by noon. In addition to the urgency of the mission, the challenge was that the airport in Estonia did not have the necessary cargo pallets to load the relief cargo. Euroflite and JetLogistics solved the problem together and shipped the pallets from Finland to Tallinn Airport for loading.

Euroflites’ role was to source the aircraft for both Finnish and Estonian rescue operations. Both operations used the same aircraft, it first flew Estonian rescue workers and equipment to Adana on the 7th and then returned to pick up Finnish, Swedish, and Danish teams and flew the route from Helsinki to Billund to Adana on the 9th. In total, Euroflite flew relief workers and rescue equipment from Finland, Estonia, Sweden, and Denmark to the disaster area. 

Sourcing Aircraft & Keeping a Tight Schedule

Originally an Airbus 320 was sourced for the operations. All the cargo needed to be re-packaged according to measurements that would fit the airplane and also to separate dangerous goods (generators, fuel, ethanol, batteries, etc.) from general cargo. But during the repacking team quickly discovered that the volumes had increased from what was originally anticipated, so the aircraft type A320 had to be changed to A330

Sourcing a big aircraft in such a time-pressure and urgent situation is not an easy job to do.

Getting just a cargo plane is easy, adding passengers to the equation makes it more difficult.”

“Getting just a cargo plane is easy, adding passengers to the equation makes it more difficult.” Reelika Mõttus, JetLogistics Head of Defence and Government Sector of Baltic States describes. Euroflite was also preparing to assist to get the flight crew to Tallinn with a private jet to ensure sufficient rest times for the crew and still maintain the original schedule. This option wasn’t needed in the end, but it shows how fast the Euroflite team can think outside the box to ensure the operation can be executed without delays. 

The A330 aircraft used was leased from a European airline operator. A330’s cargo hold was able to accommodate a sufficient amount of goods to meet the needs of both operations and all four countries. In total, about 40 tonnes of goods and 50 people were sent from Estonia, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark to the disaster area. Overall a very good and well-performed cooperation between Euroflite, JetLogistics, and all the involved parties, which all were very pleased with the end result of this operation.

DEFLOG Crisis Response Concept as a Solution 

This case portrays how operations are executed under the DEFLOG concept. DEFLOG is a crisis response service concept, and it combines all the best qualities of three Wihuri Aviation operators. Wihuri Aviation’s business units (Euroflite, JetLogistics, and Jetflite) specialize in rapid response flight operations to difficult locations and carry out dozens of different types of relief flights per year. Operations often consist of troop deployments and rescue, evacuation, and ambulance flights.

Please reach out to us if you have questions or would like us to arrange an aircraft for disaster aid flight.