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Case Study

Supporting NGO Staff to Leave Beirut After Borders Closed Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

International SOS chartered a flight for a group of NGO employees caught in Beirut, Lebanon, when the country abruptly closed it borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Overview

International SOS chartered a flight for a group of NGO employees caught in Beirut, Lebanon, when the country abruptly closed it borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Problem

A group of five NGO workers were unable to leave Beirut, Lebanon, because the government closed borders and cancelled commercial flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Solution

Our client called International SOS for assistance with charter flight options out of Lebanon. We were able to identify charter options, but the landing permits required Lebanese government approval. We liaised with US Embassy contacts to send a diplomatic note to the Lebanese government. The US Embassy estimated the approval would take seven days. We contacted its MedAire Aviation Security Director in Europe who spoke with contacts at the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority and the permit was granted in less than 24 hours. 

Impact

As a result of the breadth of contacts and the expertise of International SOS and MedAire, five people were reunited with their families back in the US.