Free flights for Notre Dame reconstruction volunteers

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 18 April 2019

Following the tragedy of this past Monday, 15 April, when the cathedral Notre Dame in Paris became engulfed in flames, AirFrance has pledged to waive the cost of air tickets for all volunteering companies who help to rebuild it.

The French airline has pledged its support to Notre Dame by providing free transport to those involved with its reconstruction, and today France pays tribute to the firefighters from the scene. President Emmanuel Macron hosted the brave firefighters at the Élysée Palace today for a ‘word of thanks’.

‘All Air France and Air France-KLM teams around the world have been deeply affected and saddened since yesterday’, the airline’s statement from Tuesday read.

‘This is why Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, with Anne-Marie Couderc, chairman of Air France-KLM, and Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France, have decided that Air France will provide free transport for all official partners involved in the reconstruction of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.’

In the same statement, Air France called the 850 year-old Gothic cathedral ‘a symbol of French history’. The iconic landmark received about 13 million visitors annually, a testament to its popularity and, now, the emotional devastation and support pouring in from around the world.

An image of Notre Dame before renovations and before the fire, its spire and roof still intact. Image: Pixabay.

So far, nearly R11 billion has been raised for the reconstruction and restoration of the age-old cathedral and French landmark, according to the Independent.

The airline will be waiving the cost of flight fees for aid workers travelling to help tend to the reconstruction of Notre Dame. Air France will also be setting up a donation fund in which its flyers can donate to the cause.

With the subject of its reconstruction amid the cathedral’s present €6 million (R95 million) renovation before the fire threatened to raze it to the ground, it’s worth noting that Notre Dame itself took 182 years to build, between the 12th and 14th centuries. Acres of trees were cut down in the 12th century to use as timber frames, which were lost to the flames that took firefighters nine hours to put out.

Also read:

Notre Dame Cathedral: After the flames

Featured image via Wikemedia Commons

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