Aer Lingus launches special on-board collections to help UNICEF Syria Appeal

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Aer Lingus are asking passengers to help UNICEF in a special campaign designed to help the children affected by the Syrian crisis.

Aer Lingus, in partnership with UNICEF Ireland, today launched a special collection on board all flights for the children of Syria. The week-long collections start today and run until Friday 21st June.

In 2012, Aer Lingus passengers donated over €120,000 (£102,000) to support the children of Syria. As the situation worsens, up to one million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Lebanon, half of whom are children.

Aer Lingus Director of Communications Declan Kearney said: "I don't believe anyone who saw the TV reports from Lebanon this week could not have been moved by the harrowing images of the dire conditions these children are suffering. Thanks to the generosity of Aer Lingus passengers, thousands of children are surviving who otherwise would have perished. We appeal to Aer Lingus customers for their continued support in this campaign for the children of Syria."

The new fund-raising effort from the Irish airline is the latest chapter in a long-running partnership with UNICEF. Under their joint 'Change for Good' initiative passengers on transatlantic Aer Lingus flights are asked to donate unwanted foreign notes and coins to good causes. This new special collection will spread the fundraising net wider, and passengers on all Aer Lingus flights will be asked to make donations to alleviate the situation in Syria.

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power explained: "UNICEF's work to help the children of Syria is seriously underfunded and it's a situation that is not sustainable given that the number of children affected is growing daily. Today, UNICEF Ireland is renewing its appeal to the Irish public.  We urgently need donations that will help provide aid for Syrian children until the end of this year."

The level of violence between the Syrian government and rebel groups has escalated over the past months and many families have been displaced as a result, with many finding their way to refugee camps in neighbouring countries, stretching the capacity of these locations to the limit. UNICEF is working hard to ensure the children of these families are taken care of.

Making an urgent appeal to people across Ireland, UNICEF Ambassador and Munster and Irish rugby star Donncha O'Callaghan said: "For me, even though this conflict urgently needs to be resolved politically – it isn't about politics – it's about the children I've met whose lives & futures hang in the balance today.  It's about whether – when the fighting finally ends – these children will be healthy enough, well-educated enough, strong enough, to rebuild their lives – that's UNICEF's job right now and that's their focus.  I am asking Aer Lingus and their passengers to please help them."

About Aer Lingus:
Aer Lingus was founded by the Irish Government in April 1936 to provide air services to/from Ireland and the UK. The first flight, from Dublin to Bristol, took place on May 27th 1936.

Aer Lingus' low-cost, low fares model is centered on maintaining low unit cost, offering one way fares, maintaining effective fleet utilisation and developing the Aer Lingus brand. Consistent with this low-cost model, Aer Lingus' primary distribution channel is its website aerlingus.com where customers can find a number of cheap flight deals, including flights from the UK and flights from Ireland. Passengers can also take advantage of the Aer Lingus check in app, purchase travel vouchers and find other cheap flight tickets.

Aer Lingus provides a cargo transportation service on some of its scheduled passenger routes, including cheap flights to the USA and Europe and flights to Dublin. Aer Lingus provides mail transportation services between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

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Declan Kearney
Aer Lingus
00 353 86 6172702
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