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 continues to rise.
From May, 14 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 said: “As an airline we are in a unique position to help in the global response to Covid-19, whether it is through carrying UK residents back home, transporting vital cargo back to the NHS, or through our colleagues who are offering their skills to volunteer.”
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: “These flights will help us deliver essential equipment to the NHS and for others who are working on the front line.”