Atlas Air Worldwide has been ramping up its relief efforts in the fight against coronavirus (covid-19).
The carrier has been working with the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Flexport.org’s Frontline Responders Fund, country governments and global companies around the world to transport vital supplies across the globe.
“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,” said president and chief executive officer, Atlas Air Worldwide, John Dietrich.
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.”
In support of the White House’s Project Airbridge, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Atlas Air Worldwide arranged several charters to multiple destinations in the US.
On Sunday 29 March, Atlas Air operated the first flight for Project Airbridge from Shanghai, China into New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The flight carried 130,000 N-95 masks; nearly 1.8 million surgical masks and gowns; more than 10.3 million gloves; and more than 70,000 thermometers.
According to FEMA, the supplies will be distributed primarily to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut hospitals, with the remainder designated for nursing homes in the area, as well as other high-risk areas across the country. The team completed the mission three days ahead of plan.
Two additional flights as part of Project Airbridge, carrying personal protective equipment (PPE), operated into Chicago: one from China on Monday 30 March and one from Malaysia on Wednesday 1 April.
Atlas Air is also assisting with 747 freighter charter flights for the Frontline Responders Fund, an effort by the Flexport.org to galvanise resources for the front line responders combating covid-19.
On 2 April, the carrier operated a dedicated charter for this mission, containing PPE headed for medical systems in the San Francisco Bay area.
The shipment, originating in Shanghai, contained approximately 65 tons of PPE, including 4.5 million face masks, 121,300 surgical gowns and 16,000 hazmat suits.
Flexport.org, the impact group of the modern freight forwarder Flexport, used funds from a joint GoFundMe called Frontline Responders Fund, which has already raised over $5 million.
Atlas Air operated a 747-400F filled with PPE equipment to people in Spain, donated by one of its longtime customers, on 23 March 2020.
Additionally, Polar Air Cargo, a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide, worked with Airlink to organise seven tons of humanitarian relief—respirator masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns and more— on a flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai on 18 March 2020.
Atlas Air Worldwide is among many airlines that have been increasing their cargo operations following the coronavirus outbreak, including Qatar Airways and Etihad.