One of the comments I see very frequently online, even from some frequent flyers is, why are there still aircraft flying? Well, apart from repatriation flights and flights for essential reasons such as medical staff, scientists etc, it’s mainly cargo. BA joined Virgin Atlantic this week in bringing vital supplies from China to the UK.
Captain Robert Kendall headed a team of flight crew operating the British Airways Boeing 777 loaded with ventilators as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) including goggles, face guards and gowns.
The flight was operated in partnership with the UK Government and IAG Cargo. The British Embassy is working with the Department of Health to procure medical equipment from China and deliver it to NHS hospitals all over the UK.
The flight departed from Shanghai at 11am local time on 9 April and touched down at Heathrow later that afternoon.
The flight was the first of several British Airways flights containing medical equipment and supplies coming into the UK from China. Over the coming days, 55 tonnes of hand sanitiser – equivalent to around 62,000 large bottles – will arrive in the UK on a similar flight from Shanghai.
Minister of State for Asia, Nigel Adams said: “I am delighted that we have been able to reopen the British Airways route from Shanghai to deliver lifesaving equipment that we have bought for the NHS.
“We have been working round the clock to bolster the NHS supplies and save lives and we are seeking further deliveries as a matter of urgency.”
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “We are doing all we can to support the global response to COVID-19, whether it’s flying important medical supplies in to the UK or helping to bring Britons home. We will continue to use all available resources to support the Government, the NHS and communities all over the world who might be in need of our help.”
Interesting story given current media attention on PPE. Would have been more interesting with a bit more research to find our how much of this stuff is coming into the country given the government statement that is ‘straining every sinew’ to get the PPE needed. Otherwise this was just recycling of a BA press release with 3 clips of an aircraft being loaded and taking off that could have been one clip.
I don’t think it is really the place of a travel blog to be talking about the government’s PPE shipments except in terms of what the airlines are doing to help. It is definitely not an area that I know anything about and therefore will not be doing anything more in depth on the subject.
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