Covid-19: Network Airline Services partner with China Southern Airlines to fly PPE into China
Updated on September 14th, 2020 at 14:24 IST
During the first couple of months of 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese people living in Kenya rallied together to send urgent PPE and medical supplies into China.
This was driven by a high demand for PPE in the country, at a time when COVID-19 was still localised in and around the Wuhan area before it became a global pandemic. A large number of protective items were even donated by the Kenyan government before local stocks ran out and had to be sourced from bordering Uganda and Tanzania.
Network Airline Services in Nairobi act as the Cargo Sales Agent for China Southern Airlines which services four flights weekly between Kenya and China.
Through their expertise, they were able to utilise these regular flights to help move 72 tonnes of vital PPE which included 10 million face masks as well as other supplies including face shields, gloves and protective suits to Harbin Province in Northern China.
“At first a challenge to load cargo presented itself, due to a high volume of goods, but through our experience and innovation we were able to load more cargo into the passenger cabin utilising all unoccupied seats.” – Sarah Wangui, Managing Director of Network Airline Services in Nairobi.
One flight was even delayed, departing at night, so the payload could be increased to take more PPE.
In July 2020, Network Airline Services were able to move 1.6 tonnes of relief cargo to Misrata, Libya. At this time, Libyan airspace was restricted due to the ongoing war, so no flights were allowed. However, through the AMS office with the team’s dedication to offering solutions to the customers, they were able to fly the shipment from Nairobi to Amsterdam to Istanbul and finally connecting on to a barge into Misrata, which was a highly innovative solution.
Network Airline Services offices in Uganda and Tanzania represent Fly Dubai, who operated various repatriation flights where they were able to move perishable cargo on the return flights. This allowed them to assist the customers to move cargo as a result of limited capacity due to the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.