Warrenton, Va., Jan. 20, 2003 - Officials of the primary air service for international relief and development organizations announced today that it would fly into Iraq in the aftermath of war to support humanitarian relief operations.
Last week, many private relief agencies said they were concerned about providing assistance near combat zones in Iraq, largely out of fear that Saddam Hussein's forces could use chemical or biological weapons.
"Our pilots have flown into some of the most dangerous places in the world to deliver workers and supplies to alleviate human suffering," said Stu Willcuts, president of Air Serv International. "We are not careless, and we have never had a flight casualty in 18 years of service, but the potential of danger has never been a deterrent. We intend to serve the needs of the international aid community if a war creates a crisis situation."
Air Serv has established a base of operation in Amman, Jordan, and representatives will visit Kuwait next week to establish an additional operations site in the region.
Air Serv International is a nonprofit humanitarian agency providing aviation and other technologies for relief and development. Launched in 1984, as Africa entered one of its worst crises, AirServ plays a crucial role by giving quick access to those who are critically isolated from emergency aid due to major ground transport limitations. Recent operations have included Afghanistan, West Africa, and the Congo. Air Serv is a respected air transport provider to United Nations agencies, U.S. government agencies, embassy personnel, local country officials, and international and local non-governmental organizations.
For more information on Air Serv's plans for Iraq or to interview an Air Serv representative, contact Jim Jewell at (404) 681-9746 or (678) 458-9837 cell.