April 15, 2020 – Aerolíneas Argentinas announced a special flight to Shanghai, China, with the purpose of bringing medical supplies and protection materials to face the Covid 19.
The flight shall be made with an Airbus 330–200 aircraft specially conditioned to transport cargo, as required by the Province of Buenos Aires.
A total of 13 tons of critical medical supplies and protection materials will reach the country to help fight against the COVID 19.
This is an unprecedented operation, and the flight will depart on Wednesday 15 at 6.30 PM, and will make a refueling stop in Auckland before reaching destination. The flight will last approximately 55 hours with 6 hours of estimated work at Shanghai airport to load the medical supplies.
The flight crew will be made up of 17 persons including pilots, aeronautical engineers, dispatchers and operating staff. This is due to the number of flight stages, the time zone differences and to the fact that the staff cannot get off the plane during the whole operation (so as to comply with the isolation orders) for which reason they will need to eat and sleep onboard.
Owing to the large number of material, during the weekend, the technical and commercial teams of Aerolíneas Argentinas worked to make the passenger cabin fit using containing nets which make it possible to enlarge the cargo capacity of the aircraft, beyond the use of hold space. In this way, the cargo capacity was increased by 84%.
Since it is the first time that Aerolíneas Argentina makes a trip to the Asian territory and taking into account the distance to be covered and the characteristic inherent in the aircraft, a specific analysis of the flight routes had to be made to determine which was the most efficient one. Finally a decision was made in the sense that the aircraft would head west crossing the Pacific Ocean, practically drawing a straight line over the Easter Island and making a refueling stop at Auckland airport, to continue to its final destination in Shanghai.
“This is an unprecedented event in the history of the Company. I want to congratulate all professionals who form part of Aerolíneas Argentinas on the work done to condition and prepare these special flights for the benefit of the country and, therefore, of all the Argentine people”, explained Pablo Ceriani, President of Aerolíneas Argentinas.
The flight is in addition to the 48 special operations scheduled by Aerolíneas Argentinas and that from March 18 have allowed for more than 16,000 Argentine people to return to the country from Miami, Madrid, Punta Cana, Cancun, Bogota, Quito, Lima, San Salvador de Bahía, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Pablo, Porto Seguro y Florianopolis.