Emergency relief flight takes off from Heathrow

An emergency relief flight bound for Haiti has taken off from Heathrow Airport today, a British Airways spokesman said.





The Boeing 747 carrying 50 tonnes of supplies left at about 8.30am crewed by a team of 30 volunteer BA pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground staff.



The flight, with 10 tonnes of Oxfam cargo, will stop en route at Billund in Denmark to pick up 40 tonnes of aid from Unicef, BA's charity partner.



It is expected to land in the Dominican Republic at about midnight GMT.



A BA spokesman said: "Time is of the essence and we are doing all we can this morning to get aid out to Haiti on a special jumbo jet relief flight."



As well as funding the £250,000 cost of the flight, BA has pledged £300,000 from its Unicef Change for Good programme.



The spokesman said seats had been removed from economy class to make room for the cargo, which includes containers of water, purification equipment and pumps.