What is Refugee Air?

Refugee Air is an initiative aimed at enabling refugees to safely travel into the EU.

What is your goal?

Our goal is to prevent unnecessary cost and suffering for refugees traveling to the EU to seek asylum. Instead of risking their lives in dangerous ocean crossings and long risky journeys over land, they should be able to travel safely and quickly by air.

Who are you?

We are a group of action-driven entrepreneurs and humanitarians. We know how to solve problems and get things done and we want to make a difference right now. We’re putting crowd-sourced competencies and our extensive networks to work to save lives and drive positive change.

Why are you doing this?

We’re tired of witnessing refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea trying to get to safety in the EU. It’s senseless. We want to prove that there is a better, safer way for refugees to reach Europe.

Why can't refugees just buy their own plane ticket and get on a flight?

Refugees without visas are currently not able to travel by air due to “Carriers Liability”, an EU directive making carriers financially liable for all costs related to passengers who are not ultimately granted asylum at their destination. Although budget flights on the same routes are cheap and easy to come by, refugees must instead pay thousands of euros to smugglers to undertake the dangerous sea crossing, risking their lives in the process.

Who are you collaborating with?

Through our networks we have teamed up with other passionate entrepreneurs, business people and leading professionals who are contributing their expertise and knowledge. We’re using crowd-sourcing to tap into competencies and connections from passionate people around the world. We are also working closely with carriers, NGOs and others who can help make safe routes to Europe possible.

How can I help?

Help spread the word on social media and show your support using the hashtag #LetThemFly. We don’t encourage any person, entity or organisation to break any laws or discriminate anyone. We want to accomplish change by finding sustainable solutions and not by force.

Can I make a monetary donation?

No thank you. We will not be accepting donations. We might need help of some kind from time to time, so we’ll keep you updated about our needs, but we are not accepting donations at this time.

Who can join? How will you decide who gets to travel?

We are working with NGOs on the ground to conduct careful pre-screening of potential passengers to ensure that those traveling have a viable asylum claim in the host country.

Who is paying for the flights?

We have financial backing from both private and corporate donors.

How many people will be able to fly this way?

We will be starting with one plane to prove that safe transportation of refugees into the EU is possible.

Who's providing and flying the plane?

We’re working with philanthropists and carriers to make air travel possible for refugees.

When will the first flight be?

The first flight will be in the air before the first snow falls over Stockholm this winter.

Isn't this the same as smuggling?

No. Refugees have the right to travel by air even without a visa, to seek asylum at the outer border of a receiving country. In addition, Refugee Air is a non-profit organization that does not seek to profit financially through this initiative.

What have you achieved so far?
  • We have reached over 830 million people with our #letthemfly campaign and thousands have contacted us to find out how they can help.
  • Met with some of the most influential decision makers in the world on the topic and influenced policy makers in Europe of adopting programs for private backed travel options for Refugees
  • Gathered hundreds of volunteers in Europe that have showed the legality of safe routes for asylum seekers, contracted 4 aircrafts and created selection procedures for passengers
  • Through legal investigations proved that the Carrier’s Liability has been misread
  • We have showed that crowd-sourced entrepreneurial organizations like Refugee Air can move fast and provide massive resources both to established NGOs and governments.
What happens next project?

Going forward Refugee Air will continue working to improve the conditions for refugees locally in Sweden.  We are also in discussions with multiple NGOs, governments and grassroot organizations to provide them with the help and resources that we can

Do you have any messages to governments today?

Yes, governments need to change their perception on how to mobilize help and support in crisis situations in the future. We have showed that crowd-sourced entrepreneurial organizations like Refugee Air can move fast and provide massive resources both to established NGOs and governments, so we urge governments to utilize the massive efforts and resources from grassroots in a smarter way.