Helicopters Magazine

Features Military
First two airlifts for Canadians fleeing Haiti are complete, after weather delay

March 26, 2024  By Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press

First two airlifts for Canadians fleeing Haiti are complete, after weather delay

A spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says 36 Canadians have now brought out of Haiti by helicopter.

On Monday, Joly had said the first 18 had already left, but Global Affairs Canada has clarified that their departure was put off due to bad weather.

Two groups were flown to safety in the Dominican Republic once the heavy rain and wind conditions subsided.

Joly announced Canada’s evacuation plan for citizens in Haiti on Monday afternoon.


Canadian passport-holders are being offered a chance to leave as Haiti undergoes food shortages and escalating violence from armed gangs.

Joly’s spokeswoman says the minister was told before her Monday press conference that the first group of 18 had just departed, and she only learned about the postponement after talking to reporters.

Global Affairs said the 18 people were safely lodged overnight and flown out Tuesday morning.

Another group of 18 followed.

Canada is airlifting the small groups by helicopter to the neighbouring Dominican Republic at no charge, though they must pay for their own accommodation and travel back to Canada.

The airlift is only for Canadians who have valid passports, and Joly said she is asking Dominican Republic officials to allow relatives of citizens as well as permanent residents of Canada to evacuate as well.

The Canadian Embassy in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince can offer emergency documents to people with missing or expired passports.

As of Monday, officials said there were roughly 3,000 people with a connection to Canada who have voluntarily registered their presence in Haiti with the government.

Fewer than 300 of them had requested assistance to leave the country.

And fewer than 100 of those asking for help are Canadian citizens with valid passports, Joly said Monday.

Only about 30 of them indicated they were “travel ready,” an official told reporters.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2024.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2023


Stories continue below

Print this page