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When roads are impassable or infrastructure is destroyed, WFP turns to the skies to quickly bring humanitarian cargo and aid workers to cut-off communities in the most inaccessible places on the planet. Whether the cause is flood or earthquake, cyclone or war, WFP Aviation operates on the front lines of hunger.

Read the WFP Aviation Annual Review 2014

Read the WFP Aviation Operational Snapshot, January - June 2015


When delivery by land renders surface transport impossible, WFP organizes airlifts, which deploy life-saving food assistance by plane within 48 hours. Serving not only WFP, reliable and cost-efficient air transport of food and non-food cargoes is made available to the entire humanitarian community, including UN agencies and NGOs. When needed, WFP also performs air drops, flying over designated ‘drop zones’ and releasing aid cargos from high above, thus 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 14 operations. 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, 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 in WFP humanitarian air operations, in accordance with United Nations Common Aviation Safety Standards and the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards and best practices.

2014: Aviation at a Glance

UNHAS Operations

  • Passengers: 240,885 (excl. 139,166 transits)
  • Cargo: 3,931 mt
  • Regular destinations: 258
  • People evacuated: 2,637

Airlift, Airfreight and Passenger Services (excl. UNHAS)

  • Cargo: 36,984 mt
  • Passengers: 1,297


  • 36,831 mt of food

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