Alaska Air Group, Three Families Honored by Mission Aviation Fellowship

MAFedit.jpg In a special ceremony on Wednesday, November 4, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) honored Alaska Air Group and three families whose financial gifts allowed the ministry organization to purchase airplanes that will soon be impacting the lives of impoverished people in Mozambique and Central Asia. Some 200 people braved the cold wind to offer prayers of thanks for the new airplanes.

“MAF depends on the Lord’s provision and generous donors,” said John Boyd, MAF president and CEO. “Alaska Air Group and these three families have made significant gifts that will change the lives of at-risk people in some of the most difficult places on earth.” (Photo: The Austin family prays over the Cessna Caravan that will serve remote areas of Mozambique. Photo by Paul O’Brien.)

The Kennedy Family and Alaska Air Group: Bruce Kennedy, former chairman of Alaska Airlines and an MAF board member, died in a plane crash in 2007. His friends and family members, as well as hundreds of Alaska and Horizon Airlines employees, contributed to a memorial fund that was matched by Alaska Air Group. These gifts have helped MAF purchase a KODIAK aircraft that will be used for humanitarian work in Asia.

“Alaska Airlines is honored to be included in today’s dedication and to remember our former leader, Bruce Kennedy,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ senior vice president of communications and external relations. “Many of our employees knew Bruce well and we all continue to feel the lasting impact of his legacy at Alaska Airlines. We are proud to support this powerful combination of aviation in service of others.”

The Dahlen Family: Long-time supporters of MAF, the Dahlens made a significant gift to the Cornerstone Scholarship Endowment, which provides scholarships for MAF children. A recent gift from the family has helped MAF to fund several additional projects, including a Cessna Caravan aircraft that will be used for mission and medical work in remote areas of Mozambique.

The Austin Family: At the time of his death in April 2015, Lloyd Austin had been supporting MAF for more than 20 years. Lloyd left a legacy gift to MAF that helped purchase the Cessna Caravan bound for Mozambique.

“In Mozambique and Central Asia, MAF works with medical teams and development agencies to improve healthcare and make life better for those living in isolated areas,” said Boyd. “We hope to have both these airplanes serving overseas in the next few months.”

Founded in 1945, Mission Aviation Fellowship ( is a family of organizations with a singular mission: to share the love of Jesus through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed. MAF serves in 31 countries of Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America with a fleet of 132 aircraft. Its recent work includes coordinating transportation to remote areas of Nepal devastated by earthquakes, helping combat an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and supporting the work of churches, missionaries, and Bible translators around the world.