Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sumatra quake: AirAsia helps out with charity flight

02 October 2009

PETALING JAYA: Anxious family members and rescue teams have snapped up all free air tickets on the Jakarta-Padang charity flight by AirAsia on Sunday.

The 260 tickets, to and from Padang, were booked up within 20 minutes of AirAsia putting them up on its website at 9am Friday, said AirAsia group regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan.

“AirAsia wants to do our bit during this critical moment in Padang. We want to reach out to the earthquake victims,” she said.

She claimed some travel agents had doubled the price of air-tickets between the two cities.

“We are not doing it for money. We are a people’s airline. It is our social responsibility,” she said.

She said AirAsia, which had stopped flights between the two cities previously, had managed to organise the charity fight within one hour on Wednesday, when a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck the city.

At least 715 people were killed, although estimates vary, with the death toll expected to rise as thousands are still trapped underneath collapsed buildings.

“We will also provide cargo services to those who want to send rescue items to Padang,” Tan said.

She said AirAsia is also looking into the possibility of extra flights between the two cities during this period.

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