Prodded by the Government, Brazil’s Varig Decides to Help Tsunami Victims

    Brazilian Airline Varig plans to schedule more flights to the Asian coast to transport medications, clothing, water, and food to residents of the areas affected by the tsunami.

    This information was given by the company’s president, Carlos Luiz Martins, following a meeting with the Vice-President and Minister of Defense of Brazil, José Alencar.


    “We already have a DC-10 available, and, after January 15, we shall begin to transport things with our new MD-11,” Martins declared.


    According to Martins, the decision to increase the number of flights to the areas struck by the tsunami is intended to expedite delivery of the large number of donations that are being made throughout Brazil.


    “The quantity of help is enormous, and this demands logistic planning. There will be a sequence of flights, since the MD-11 will only commence operations on January 15,” he said.


    Martins explained that the DC-10 is a cargo plane, with an engine capable of flying long distances, able to carry 60 tons of cargo and fly 13 hours without refueling.


    The MD-11 possesses a greater cargo capacity (82 tons) and is able to fly 15 hours without refueling.


    “The MD-11 will be able to fly from Rio to Capetown, in South Africa, and go on from there to Sri Lank or Indonesia, depending on where the relief is being sent,” he said.


    Martins made it clear that, since this is a special operation, the company expects Petrobras to provide the fuel.


    “In any case, that is what they did for the first flight.”


    The president of Varig said that he received thanks from José Alencar for the contribution the company has been making to the operation to provide Brazilian help to the tidal wave victims in Asia.


    “Varig has always participated in humanitarian efforts. Nor could it be absent now. These efforts are part of the company’s philosophy,” he summed up.


    Translation: David Silberstein
    Agência Brasil

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