Feb 22, 2020: Five Qatar Airways cargo freighters left for China on Feb 21 carrying approximately 300 tonnes of medical supplies to support Coronavirus relief efforts.
A convoy of five aircraft made up of two Boeing 747F and three Boeing 777F departed one after the other bound for Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou as part of Qatar Airways and the Qatari government’s voluntary offer of free air cargo transportation for medical relief aid organised by Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide to fight the coronavirus outbreak. 2,500,000 face masks and 500,000 bottles of hand sanitizer have been donated by the carrier.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, said, “When this crisis began, we knew we had to contribute to support our friends in China. As one of the leading air cargo carriers in the world, we are in a unique position where we are able to provide immediate humanitarian support through the provision of aircraft and donating medical supplies as well as coordinating logistical arrangements. By working with the Chinese Embassy in Qatar we hope our combined efforts can help limit the spread of this virus, ease the burden on local medical personnel and provide relief to the impacted communities in China.”
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the State of Qatar, Zhou Jian, who attended the convoy’s departure along with Qatar Airways' GCEO, said, “At this critical moment when Chinese people nationwide are fighting against the Coronavirus, Qatar Airways has opened a ‘green channel’ for donating and transporting medical supplies to China. This is a channel of love, friendship, solidarity and hope. We are deeply grateful for that.”
The convoy follows an earlier batch of critical medical relief aid transported by Qatar Airways Cargo to Shanghai on 2 February 2020. The shipment included 100,000 medical-grade N95 respiratory masks and 2,700 medical-grade disposable latex gloves, providing essential protection to healthcare professionals working around the clock at hospitals in Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus. The airline is planning to transport additional donations in the coming weeks.
The ‘green channel’ initiative for complimentary air transportation was announced jointly by Qatar Airways and the Chinese Embassy in Qatar on 7 February 2020. Qatar Airways is the first international airline to volunteer emergency relief flight delivery.
Qatar Airways is also working closely with the World Health Organization and local authorities worldwide to safeguard the health and safety of its employees and passengers. Its modern fleet is protected with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems, eliminating 99.97 percent of fine airborne particles from circulating air in cabins, greatly restricting the spread of airborne fungi, viruses and bacteria.
Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more than 170 destinations worldwide. The world’s fastest-growing airline will add Osaka, Japan; Santorini, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Almaty and Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan; Accra, Ghana; Cebu, Philippines; Lyon, France; Trabzon, Turkey; Siem Reap, Cambodia and Luanda, Angola to its extensive network in 2020.