- Flickr/Tomas Del Coro
- Delta Air Lines donated three charter flights to the families and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft also donated the services of a team jet.
- The Douglas High School students were headed to Washington, DC for the March for Our Lives rally.
Delta Air Lines and the National Football League’s New England Patriots donated free flights over the weekend to help transport hundreds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families to the March for Our Lives rally against gun violence in Washington, DC.
Delta confirmed that it donated three charter flights on Saturday to the students and families of the Parkland, Florida high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting last month.
In a statement to Business Insider, the Atlanta, Georgia-based airline said:
“As part of our commitment to supporting the communities we serve, Delta offered three round-trip charter flights at no charge on Saturday, March 24, to students and families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School traveling between Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Washington, D.C.”
The New England Patriots also gave the school’s students a lift. Over the weekend, the Patriots offered up the services of one of its two Boeing 767 team jets.
According to ABC News, Patriots team owner Robert Kraft reached out to the school with the offer to the use the jet.
Once onboard the Patriots jet, the students and their families were greeted by a letter of support from Kraft which read:
“On behalf of the New England Patriots organization, I want to express our support as you travel to Washington for this weekend’s March for Our Lives. In the wake of incredible tragedy, we have hurt for you, mourned with you and been inspired by you. It is an honor for us to now partner with you as you push for progress.
Your community is stirring our country towards a better future. That is the true mark of a patriot. Thank you for your leadership and inspiration. Best wishes as you prepare for takeoff on your journey.”
In February, Delta Air Lines drew the ire of right-wing gun advocates after it ended a group discount for members of the National Rifle Association. The discount was for members of the NRA to attend its national convention. According to Delta, a total of 13 people used the NRA discount last year.
Contrary to some reports, Southwest Airlines confirmed to Business Insider that it “did not donate any flights for people traveling” to any gun protests this weekend.