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Airlink adds new aviation industry leaders to governors council

August 21, 2023 
By Airlink

Celebrating World Humanitarian Day and National Aviation Day (Aug. 19), Airlink, the global disaster response nonprofit that provides free air transport and logistical co-ordination to a network of 150 NGOs, has announced the addition of aviation industry leaders to its prestigious Governors Council.

Airlink’s Governors Council comprises leaders in the aviation and logistics sector who (personally or through their organization) inspire other individuals and organizations to join the aviation industry’s leading disaster relief movement. Governors Council members are invited to join the group based on their and their company’s support of Airlink. Members are current CEOs (or equivalent) of Airlink’s partners. All share a dedication to helping people and communities impacted by natural and man-made disasters.

The newly appointed members include prominent figures from top passenger and cargo carriers, each dedicated to making a positive impact in the aviation industry and the global community. Their airlines have played a key role in Airlink’s responses to the Hawaii Wildfires, the cholera outbreak in Haiti, earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and neighbouring countries supporting displaced Ukrainians. The new members of Airlink’s Governors Council are:

Robert Isom – CEO, American Airlines
Bob Jordan – President and CEO, Southwest Airlines
Scott Kirby – CEO, United Airlines
Ben Minicucci – President and CEO, Alaska Airlines
Güliz Öztürk – CEO, Pegasus
Tim Strauss – CEO, Amerijet
Michael Steen – CEO, Atlas Air


“We are delighted to welcome these distinguished aviation leaders to Airlink’s Governors Council,” said Steven J. Smith, president and CEO of Airlink. “The aviation industry plays a crucial role in global humanitarian efforts, and Airlink serves as a critical bridge between the private sector, airlines, and humanitarian organizations to deliver aid and hope to communities facing adversity worldwide.”

World Humanitarian Day and National Aviation Day on the same date hold a special significance for Airlink. By leveraging the resources and capabilities of its airline and aviation industry partners (through in-kind and cash donations), Airlink facilitates the rapid and free transportation of aid and responders to disaster-affected regions, ensuring that help reaches those in need swiftly. The organization supports a pre-screened global network of 150 NGO partners with free transport and logistical co-ordination.

Because Airlink covers the cost of transport for its NGO partners, those NGOs can then procure more supplies of aid and conduct longer and more extensive disaster response and humanitarian crisis programs. “The aviation and logistics industries are the unsung heroes of disaster response,” said Steve Smith. “The first step in disaster response is getting there.”

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