Aer Lingus’ first flight to China to collect more Personal Protective Equipment for Ireland’s healthcare staff has taken off from Dublin Airport today.
The cargo plane is embarking on a 50-hour round trip to bring the delivery back by Sunday evening.
Aer Lingus is flying its biggest aircraft, the Airbus A330, to carry out the operation. The cargo holds and passenger areas will be packed with medical equipment including PPE for healthcare workers on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19.
This is the first of hundreds of consignments to be collected in the coming weeks as the HSE spends a reported €230m to buy supplies for medics.
Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has paid tribute to the crews who are carrying out the vital service.
He said: “I want to pay huge tribute to the 90 Aer Lingus Pilots who have secured visas and have volunteered to spend over 24 hours on the airline’s Airbus A330s to carry out the operation and bring essential medical supplies to Ireland
“The first crew made up of five pilots left for Beijing from Dublin Airport at 10.20am this morning to pick up essential equipment needed by HSE staff in the fight against Covid-19.
“I am very pleased to have been involved in collaborations between the Pilots and the government to assist in making this effort happen. A massive thank you to the pilots who offered to do this for Ireland. The country owes you a huge debt of gratitude.”