Rotary quake aid, courtesy of Virgin

Indira Das-Gupta

Virgin Atlantic Airways has donated the use of an aircraft to Rotary Clubs in the UK and Ireland to transport urgent supplies to Pakistan.

The Boeing 747, which has a cargo capacity of 55 tonnes, carried 600 'shelter-boxes' containing tents and medical supplies on Monday. The boxes, which each contain a tent and basic necessities for up to 10 people, will be distributed through the Rotary network in Pakistan.

Mike Webb, president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: "We are grateful for this generous offer, which will benefit thousands of families as the harsh Himalayan winter takes hold."

Virgin has donated the use of another plane to Save the Children, also to transport supplies to Pakistan.

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