When roads are impassable or infrastructure is destroyed, WFP turns to the skies to quickly bring both humanitarian cargo and aid workers to communities in some of the world's most inaccessible places. Whether the cause is flood or earthquake, cyclone or war, WFP Aviation provides access.
When situations on land render surface transport impossible, WFP Aviation organizes airlifts that deploy life-saving assistance by plane within 48 hours. The Aviation team does not only serve WFP: reliable and cost-efficient air transport of food and non-food cargoes is made available to the entire humanitarian community, including NGOs and UN agencies. When necessary, WFP also performs airdrops by flying over designated ‘drop zones’ and releasing aid cargoes from high above, thereby serving remote populations through a rapid and targeted response.
As the world’s leading humanitarian airline, the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) currently has a fleet of more than 50 chartered aircraft, including helicopters, deployed to various operations around the world. Aid workers in the deep field, with no other means of transportation, rely on UNHAS to bring them to some of the world’s most remote and isolated communities, often where commercial airlines do not fly. With air services to over 250 regular destinations in 20 countries, UNHAS carried more than 240,800 humanitarian passengers in 2014.
Passenger safety is at the forefront of all WFP Aviation operations. WFP’s Aviation Safety Unit, headquartered in Rome with regional offices in Kenya, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, is responsible for ensuring adequate levels of safety. All WFP humanitarian air operations are in accordance with United Nations Aviation Safety Standards (UNAVSTADs) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and best practices.
For more information on WFP Aviation services, please contact wfp.aviationinformation@wfp.
More WFP food was transported by air in 2014 than at any time in almost a decade. More than 70,000 metric tonnes of food and non-food commodities were delivered by airlift, air freight, and airdrop. WFP Aviation delivered food and non-food relief items in response to various emergencies, which included devastating floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, conflict in the Central African Republic, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, and the Ebola crisis in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The vast majority of airlifts were needed in South Sudan, where airdrops were also conducted. Due to the resumption of heavy fighting in December 2013 and the lack of access, air transport was the only way to reach populations in need.
- Passengers: 240,885 (excluding 139,166 transits)
- Cargo: 3,931 metric tonnes
- Regular destinations: 258
- People evacuated: 2,637
Airlift, Airfrieght, and Passenger Services (excluding UNHAS)
- Cargo: 36,984 metric tonnes
- Passengers: 1,297
- 36,381 metric tonnes of food