Air Charter Service (ACS) has booked charter flights to carry more than 10,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment around the world through its network of global offices, in the battle against novel coronavirus.
“We have been booking aircraft carrying protective equipment around the world since the first week of February, initially flying into China and other parts of Asia but, due the spread of the virus, we have now flown aid to all parts of the globe – more than 50 countries.” Justin Lancaster, ACS’s Group Commercial Director, commented. “Whilst it has been a variety of personal protective equipment, 10,000 tonnes is equivalent to more than two billion face masks!”
On the use of aircraft, Lancaster explained “We’ve used all types of aircraft including large freighters such as the Antonov 124, Boeing 747 and Boeing 777, but also passenger aircraft not flying on their usual routes, filling them up with cargo packed securely onto the seats and in the belly hold space.”
He concluded, “Every one of our 27 offices has been involved in this incredible effort, and having our Asian offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, where almost all of the cargo is now originating, has ensured smooth operations at the airports and enabled us to be up to speed with the latest airport situations and requirements. There are currently three days’ worth of trucks queuing at Shanghai Airport, for example, but we knew that it was building up long before it made the local news and had planned our charters from there accordingly. Now is one of those times where our industry really can make a difference and we feel like we are truly playing our part in helping the world fight this virus.”