Qantas set to donate $3 Million dollars in Drought relief to affected communities.

Qantas cabin crew Zanthe Atkinson and husband John Atkinson. (Image: Brent Winstone)

Qantas Drought Relief
Date Posted: 10/09/2018

Qantas, Australia’s national airline carrier has announced that they will be donating $3 million dollars to help with the severe drought that is currently affecting many farming families and communities in Australia. Qantas has partnered with Rural Aid to help with the funding of hay bales, water trucking, groceries and mental health councillors to help out struggling farming communities who are trying to survive the worst drought conditions Australia has seen in decades.

The airline will immediately donate $1 million dollars in the form of a cash donation to Rural Aid, followed by a number of Qantas Group Appeal initiatives to help raise another $1 million dollars with the help of their traveling customers. Qantas will match the funds raised across both Jetstar and Qantas Operated flights, with the hope of providing Rural Aid with an additional $1 million dollars by the end of 2018.

The Australian Outback (Image: Brent Winstone)

Qantas has announced some special fundraising initiatives over the next coming months with special commemorative flights, gourmet lamb chops in lounges, dedicated donation barrels as well as much more.

  • There will be two special fundraising charter flights operating out of Sydney in October, flying passengers to Longreach on the 20th October 2018 with guests welcome to explore the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach.
  • The second fundraising charter flight will see passengers fly to Tamworth from Sydney, to enjoy a fun filled day at a drought relief concert featuring performances by Australian music icons  John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite, Guy Sebastian plus many more. This flight will depart Sydney on the 27th October 2018, both of these flights will be operated by volunteer Qantas crews, with revenue given directly to Rural Aid’s initiatives.
  • Qantas Frequent Flyers are able to use their points to support farmers with Rural Aid being added to the list of charitable redemption partners on the Qantas Rewards Store.
  • Qantas will support their employees to join Rural Aid’s farm rescue program and volunteer their time repairing farm equipment, fixing homes and building fences on rural properties around Australia.
  • Rural Aid donation barrels will be placed throughout Qantas Lounges and at Qantas and Jetstar gates for customers to donate, with on board in flight announcements to raise awareness.
  • The airline will also host a monthly ‘Chops for Change’ pop-up at various lounges around the country, where guests will be offered gourmet lamb chops in exchange for a small donation.
  • A formal partnership with Rural Aid to provide flights for representatives to travel to regional communities.
Qantas Drought Relief (Image: Qantas)

“Qantas started in the outback. Many of our staff live there and we have a lot of farming families who supply everything from beef to broccoli that we serve customers. We feel we have a duty to help these communities who are doing it so tough,” said Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce.

Zanthe Atkinson, one of Qantas’s own Domestic Cabin Crew members will be one of those who will be donating their time for the fundraising flights and she understands firsthand the harsh reality of the drought. Alongside her husband they are hand feeding their stock to keep them alive on their farm near Tamworth, she says that she is one of the few lucky ones as they are able to feed their stock using her supplementary income she received from working at Qantas.

Qantas cabin crew Zanthe Atkinson feedin her cattle (Image: Brent Winstone)

“Most of the farming families have no choice but to rely solely on farm income and for a lot of them there hasn’t been any income for years. We can’t make it rain but we can at least do our bit to help get them another day closer to the drought breaking.” She said.

Qantas cabin crew Zanthe Atkinson feeding her cattle (Image: Brent Winstone)

Tickets to the fundraising flights to Longreach have already sold out, but there are still tickets left for the Tamworth flight package, for more information please click below.

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