Aegean Airlines is working with Hellenic Petroleum to support Greece’s current effort to combat the coronavirus crisis, announcing on 27 March it will be operating free cargo flights to ship medical and pharmaceutical supplies around the world.
Aegean says it will provide its aircraft and crew for the relief operation, as well as other variable costs, while Hellenic Petroleum will cover the fuel costs of the flights.
Aegean and Hellenic Petroleum say they will initially offer up to 10 flights to China, the Far East and other countries that produce medical and pharmaceutical materials and equipment which can be carried by Aegean’s fleet.
The operations are being coordinated by the Ministry for Civil Protection to ensure maximum effectiveness, and the flights may also facilitate the demand of prefectures, non-profit organisations or other entities that have offered to provide or have already donated equipment to the state of Greece.
Adjusting for capacity increase
Aegean says it has already adequately adjusted two of its Airbus A320/321 passenger aircraft to maximise available capacity for the cargo transportation operations. This has resulted in the overall capacity expanding by threefold to 120 cubic meters for the A320 aircraft and to 170 cubic meters for the A321.
Aegean and Hellenic Petroleum say they are also willing to operate any repatriation flights requested on behalf of Greece’s General Secretariat for Civil Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
These flights will be operated upon the decision of the secretariat and follow the criteria or conditions set by the state. Aegean says that, during these repatriation flights, to provide increased proactive hygiene measures, middle seats will be vacant and no catering service will be offered.