LATAM completes first of 42 Brazilian government cargo flights

By Damian Brett

LATAM has completed the first of 42 fights carrying medical masks acquired by Brazil’s Ministry of Health.

The first batch of the 240m surgical and N95 masks, acquired by the Federal Government to fight Covid-19, arrived in Brazil on Wednesday night.

LATAM’s Boeing 787-9, chartered by the Ministry of Infrastructure, landed at Guarulhos International Airport at 8pm carrying 2,200 boxes of three-layer surgical masks, totaling 4.4m units.

It took off from Shanghai on Tuesday carrying around 25 tons. It stopped in Auckland (New Zealand) and Santiago (Chile) before arriving in Brazil.

It was the first of 42 flights hired by the Ministry of Infrastructure in order to transport 960 tons of surgical and N95 masks purchased by the Ministry of Health. Personal protection equipment (PPE) will be delivered to the 27 federal stations.

“To help fight the new Coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Infrastructure has developed a logistics and distribution plan that supports the Ministry of Health,” LATAM said.

“The national plan includes actions to ensure agility in the transportation of imported goods, customs clearance at airports and equipment distribution among the states.”

In addition to the 42 flights that will be chartered by the government, retail chain Americanas will pay to transport 15m masks for the Ministry of Health in two flights. Other private companies such as Vale have also been supportive: the firm is donating 5m rapid test kits and 15.8m pieces of PPE to the Federal Government. 

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