Air Canada Partners with GlobalMedic to transport relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas
Sep 01, 2019

Airline adds flights representing a capacity increase of over 5,300 seats to markets impacted by Dorian

In the aftermath of hurricane Dorian, the category 5 hurricane that ripped through the Bahamas in early September, Air Canada supported relief efforts following the devastating impact—what was recorded as the strongest in the history of the archipelago.

Hurricane Dorian then continued onwards, impacting the airline’s operations in Florida, Bermuda and Atlantic Canada, where it made landfall in Nova Scotia as a post tropical cyclone with Category 1 winds. The storm affected over 180 cancellations across Air Canada’s network.

Rahul Singh, founder and Executive Director of humanitarian aid organization GlobalMedic, has been working closely with Air Canada’s Emergency Response Special Assistance Team and the Air Canada Foundation to respond to the Bahamas crisis. Over 30 Air Canada volunteers met in Toronto to assist GlobalMedic to pack various aid items for transport and deployed:

  • 15 Rapid Response Team members
  • 3,868 family emergency kits
  • 22,130 kilograms of emergency food
  • Two AR3 large-scale water purification systems
  • Four critical infrastructure tents
  • One RescUAV program (drones used to provide aerial imagery of disaster-affected area and relay information in real-time to responders)

With Air Canada’s support, GlobalMedic was able to provide food, water purification systems, and hygiene supplies to displaced Bahamians . “I wanted to thank you for Air Canada’s help in deploying our teams and aid to the Bahamas. We really appreciate the partnership,” Singh said.

Singh was also featured in a CP24 television segment (videoExternal site which may not meet accessibility guidelines.) and explains why getting the items to those affected was so important, particularly the water purification systems and purification tablets, as access to clean water is always an urgent priority to prevent the spread of disease. 

In addition to transporting supplies to the Bahamas for the relief effort, the airline added additional seats to markets before and after the storm.  


“We were tracking the storm and when it became clear that it would impact our stations, we were able to add just over 5,300 total seats to and from stations in Bahamas, Bermuda, Florida and Atlantic Canada,” said Cale Daniels, Senior Director, System Operations Control at Air Canada. “Our staff truly showed their devotion to our customers to get as many people as possible out of areas impacted by hurricane Dorian in advance of and after the storm when it was safe to do so through aircraft swaps to larger planes and additional flights. It truly was a team effort.”

In order to transport the GlobalMedic supplies, the company deployed larger aircraft to provide additional cargo space to facilitate the shipment.

“Having access to widebody aircraft was a huge boost to our relief shipments, and our Cargo team worked quickly to get these pallets booked and ready to go. Preparations began in July when 1,200 of the kits that were shipped to the Bahamas were packed in Toronto at an employee event. Every kit counts and being prepared for when the storm season hit was a key part of getting aid sent out when it was needed most,” said Jeff Edwards, General Manager, Cargo Network Control, who also volunteers with GlobalMedic.

“Everyone from acceptance to build-up recognized the urgency of the situation, as did our colleagues on the ramp. I’m really proud to see so many people come forward to help,” Edwards concluded.

In addition to the ongoing efforts through GlobalMedic, Air Canada Vacations is making a donation of $10 to help relief efforts for each customer booking a trip to Nassau and Great Exuma. The contributions will be made until the end of 2019 for packages booked for travel anytime.

 If you’d like to help, please consider donating to the Air Canada FoundationExternal site which may not meet accessibility guidelines.. You can specify on the donation form that you are sending aid for hurricane Dorian.