Since 2013, Panalpina has partnered with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to provide relief to countries in need. The idea for a relief flight came about when discussing the company's traditional Christmas gift-giving for its customers and employees. In place of a regular gift, Panalpina decided instead to donate something of more value, a charitable flight.
During the first relief flight, Panalpina worked together with UNICEF's "Forgotten Crisis" campaign to transport much needed goods to the Central African Republic. Using one of their own Boeing 747-8 Freighters, Panalpina and UNICEF were able to deliver goods including hospital supplies, medicine, and sleeping mats.
For Panalpina's second relief flight in 2014, it supported the fight against Ebola by flying life-saving humanitarian aid to Sierra Leone. Alongside UNICEF, Panalpina was able to donate an aircraft charter which was responsible for the delivery of goods used to help prevent and treat Ebola's stricken areas.
At the end of November 2015, a flight chartered and donated by Panalpina flew to Burundi, one of the world’s poorest countries. The small, landlocked country in East Africa, which has known cycles of recurring violence since its independence, plunged into crisis again in April 2015. 70 tons of primary medical care goods such as antibiotics, analgesics, infusion sets and hospital equipment, provided by UNICEF, were flown to Burundi’s capital Bujumbura on a Panalpina relief flight, organized by the company’s Charter Network.
For 2016's relief flight, Panalpina and UNICEF delivered 81 tons of much needed goods to the nation of Chad, where population movements, food insecurity, and natural disasters led to a health emergency and precarious humanitarian situation. The flight to Chad marked the fourth consecutive year Panalpina and UNICEF joined forces to deliver relief goods.