SAN JUAN – Lufthansa Group continues to contribute to Hurricane Maria relief efforts on Puerto Rico, supporting the island’s recovery and caring for its own Lufthansa Technik employees in the region. Earlier today, Europe’s largest full-service airline group dispatched a cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11 carrying 70 tons of drinking water and more than 10 tons of food on a flight from Frankfurt to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico via Atlanta.
The tri-engine plane, operating as flight LH 8830, took off from Frankfurt at 8:40 pm Central European Time (CET) Saturday and will fly overnight to Atlanta. After a refueling stopover in Atlanta, it will land at Aguadilla at 7:20 am Sunday morning.
While Lufthansa does not fly directly to Puerto Rico, it has a major Lufthansa Technik maintenance facility at Aguadilla Airport (LTPR). The base has three maintenance bays and is primarily focused on maintenance for the Airbus A320 family, though it does serve a variety of aircraft from multiple airlines. Lufthansa employs roughly 400 workers at the base.
“We are standing by our colleagues and the U.S. population in Puerto Rico during these trying times. It is especially in moments of crisis, that we as an enterprise all pull together and lend support to our colleagues and the local surrounding communities near our Puerto Rico location and affected by this tragedy,” said Dr. Johannes Bussmann, the president of the management board of Lufthansa Technik AG (LLC).
Remarkably, despite the widespread devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria, none of the aircraft at the Lufthansa Technik base (including a JetBlue Airways Airbus A320), suffered substantial damage. And the base is already back online, operating off of generator power. LHT PR has been instrumental in assisting for distribution of supplies for aid organizations including Operation: Puerto Rico Care-Lift and AirwaysAid.
Lufthansa is just one of many airlines contributing to the relief efforts. For example, JetBlue Airways has evacuated thousands from the island, and Airways parent 2c Media, led by our Editor in Chief Chris Sloan and his wife, accessed a two Spirit Airlines Airbus A321s flying to the island for their mission Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift , Friday alone it flew in 18,000 pounds of supplies and Spirit evacuated out 220 displaced Puerto Ricans back to Fort Lauderdale. There have been 2 Op PR Care-Lift flights thus far. The supplies are getting into the hands directly of the people who need them the most, instead of languishing in warehouses.
As part of the process, Lufthansa Technik provided staging for the supply efforts. You can see photos from Operation: Puerto Rico Care-Lift and of the Lufthansa Technik base in Aguadilla below. To support Operation Care-Lift and add to the more than $120,000 raised, please visit our GoFundMe page.