Monday 20 November 2017

Travolta jets in with aid supplies

Jane Minosa in Port-Au-Prince

John Travolta has flown a jetliner carrying relief supplies into the Haitian capital, along with doctors and ministers from the Church of Scientology.

The 55-year-old actor piloted his own Boeing 707 from Florida with six tonnes of ready-to-eat military rations and medical supplies for survivors of Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake late on Monday. His wife, Kelly Preston, was also on board.

"We have the ability to actually help make a difference in the situation in Haiti and I just can't see not using this plane to help," Travolta said.

Travolta compared the mission to aid efforts following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. "We were there right away, with this airplane, because you know we have the ability and the means to do this so I think you have responsibility on some level to do that."

Aid groups have been desperate to fly their own planes into the over-stressed airport. UN humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said yesterday that at least 800 planes with relief items were on a waiting list for the airport, which could handle only about 130 flights a day due to a lack of space to park planes as they unloaded.

The aid group Doctors Without Borders has complained that the flight scheduling priorities of US military controllers running the airport delayed the arrival of field hospitals, resulting in some deaths.

More than 150,000 people have already been buried since the magnitude-7 quake.

Travolta and Preston returned to Florida as soon as their supplies and passengers were unloaded.

Irish Independent

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