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Chapman Freeborn France provides aircraft charters for high-profile evacuations

Chapman Freeborn has provided an aircraft charter for two Canadian diplomats after they were released by al-Qaeda militants who had held them captive for over four months in Niger.

The hostages, a United Nations special envoy and his assistant, were released in northern Mali recently following lengthy efforts to secure their freedom. The two men were kidnapped in neighbouring Niger back in December 2008 while undertaking their official duties.

On behalf of a major French insurance company, Chapman Freeborn's Paris office was tasked with providing an aircraft charter for their safe return to Europe.

The Chapman Freeborn France team kept a VIP configured MD83 aircraft on standby for a week until confirmation finally came through that the hostages had been freed.

Following an appearance in front of the media alongside Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure, the two men and an additional 12 passengers departed on the chartered aircraft from Bamako (BKO) to a military base in Germany.

Successfully reunited with their families in Germany, the diplomats then returned to Canada on a government aircraft.

Elsewhere, Chapman Freeborn France also arranged an urgent evacuation charter for 40 French laboratory workers and their families from Mexico as the H1N1 outbreak reached its peak.

A 167-seat MD83 aircraft was rapidly positioned to Mexico for the flight back to France, with fears that the flu crisis could have reached Level 6 - barring all entry and exit from the country.

Chapman Freeborn has 32 offices in 22 countries across five continents and coordinated more than 5,000 aircraft charters last year.

29th June 2009