Friday, January 15, 2010

American Isn't Carrying Doctors and Nurses to Haiti, Calls the Report a "Hoax"

By Terry Maxon/Reporter

Twitter users have been busily forwarding messages that American Airlines will carry doctors and nurses into Haiti for free to help Tuesday's earthquake victims there.

The problem is that it's all a hoax, Tim Smith of American said Thursday, calling the reports "total misinformation."

"We don't know who's responsible [for the reports], but we're not allowed to carry any passengers right now," Smith said.

The information was being spread on Twitter and Facebook, and included a phone number for the Honduran consulate general in New York.

American Eagle, American's regional partner, has been carrying relief supplies like food, water and medical supplies from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. On Wednesday, it carried 10,000 pounds of materiel on each flights, and planned to do so on Thursday as well.

But Smith said it looks like those flights are in doubt, as the U.S. military is restricting flights into and out of Haiti. He had just seen news reports saying that one military planes and 10 civilian planes were circling the Port-au-Prince airport, waiting for permission to land.

A key problem is the lack of available fuel there.

When we spoke shortly before noon Thursday, Smith said those restrictions will affect American Eagle's plans.

"Given the delay, we're not going to even try the third flight today," he said. "We're going to try to get the second flight in, but we don't know if it'll happen."

Source: DallasNews

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