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British Airways increases flights from China to tackle PPE shortages in the UK

British Airways is increasing the number of cargo-only flights from China to the UK to 21 a week, up from 13 last week, as demand for PPE (personal protection equipment) continues to rise. From May, fourteen flights each week will depart from Shanghai, and seven from Beijing, carrying cargo in the hold and, where possible, in the cabin too. These flights will be able to carry up to 770 tonnes of cargo for the NHS each week, including PPE and ventilators. In April, the airline has already operated 13 cargo-only flights from China to the UK carrying NHS supplies. The flights are operated in partnership with the UK Government and IAG Cargo. The British Embassy in China is working with the Department of Health to procure medical equipment from China and deliver it to NHS hospitals all over the UK. Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, has pointed out that, as an airline, they are in a unique position to help in the global response to combat COVID-19, whether that be through carrying UK residents back home, transporting vital cargo back to the NHS, or through their colleagues who are offering their skills as volunteers. British Airways works with its sister company, IAG Cargo to fly supplies around the world. Since March, IAG Cargo and airlines within International Airlines Group (IAG) including Aer Lingus and Iberia have been instrumental in bringing medical supplies to Europe to help in the fight against the impact of the COVID-19. Last week, British Airways began carrying cargo in the cabin of its flights – as well as in the hold – which is the first time the airline has ever done this.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. This is definitely good news after so many disastrous weeks of PPE shortages. Who knows what’s really happened but at least things are, hopefully, going to pick up now with more deliveries. Good to know British Airways and IAG Cargo are able to be so pivotal to these efforts.

  2. It’s great to see how different sectors of the hospitality and travel industries have worked together to try to ease the dreadful situation we find ourselves in. Well done, BA!

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