Atlas Air boosts relief efforts in fight against Covid-19

By Rachelle Harry

Atlas Air Worldwide has been supporting the US President’s Coronavirus Task Force, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Flexport.org’s Frontline Responders Fund and global companies around the world.

In support of the White House’s Project Airbridge, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Atlas Air Worldwide arranged several charters to destinations in the US.

On March 29, the carrier operated a Project Airbridge flight from Shanghai, China, to New York City’s John F Kennedy International Airport. The flight carried 130,000 N-95 masks, nearly 1.8m surgical masks and gowns, more than 10.3m gloves and more than 70,000 thermometers.

The supplies are being distributed to hospitals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, designated nursing homes and other high-risk areas across the country. The Atlas Air Team took into consideration the time-essential nature of the cargo and delivered it three days ahead of schedule.

Two additional flights as part of Project Airbridge, carrying personal protective equipment (PPE), flew to Chicago; one from China on March 30 and one from Malaysia on April 1.

Atlas Air Worldwide has also helped to arrange charter flights utilising Boeing 747 freighters for the Frontline Responders Fund, an initiative from Flexport.org to galvanize resources for people on the front line fighting Covid-19.

On April 2, the carrier operated a charter that carried supplies for medical teams in San Francisco Bay. The flight carried 65 tons of PPE, including 4.5m face masks, 121,300 surgical gowns and 16,000 hazmat suits.

Flexport.org used funds from a joint GoFundMe called Frontline Responders Fund, which has already raised more than $5m.

On March 23, Atlas Air Worldwide also operated a 747-400F flight that carried PPE equipment Spain, donated by one of its customers.

In addition, on March 18, Polar Air Cargo, a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide, teamed up with Airlink to organise seven tons of humanitarian relief such as respirator masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns and more, on a flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai.

John Dietrich, president and chief executive, Atlas Air Worldwide, commented: “Air cargo is essential to the global fight against coronavirus, and we are proud to support the efforts of companies and agencies across the public and private sectors to deliver life-saving supplies to where they are needed the most. On behalf of our 3,800 employees around the world, we are grateful to those working on the frontlines, and we appreciate the opportunity to show our support.

“We thank our crews and ground staff for their extraordinary commitment in the operations of these relief missions.”

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