Published on June 27th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer0
Aer Lingus Completes PPE Flights from Beijing
Shortly after 6.00 pm on Friday evening, Aer Lingus flight EI-9023 arrived into Dublin Airport from Beijing, China carrying a cargo of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This was to be the 259th and final flight from China by Aer Lingus since they began flying the route at the end of March. The initial flights were organised at short notice to help the HSE import much-needed PPE for their staff at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aer Lingus made their Airbus A330 aircraft available and have transported a total of 4,000 tonnes / 35,000 cubic metres of cargo.
Aer Lingus used their Airbus A330-300 aircraft on all the flights which took around ten hours in each direction. The underbelly cargo area was fully utilised as well as the passenger cabin with cargo placed in the overhead bins and on the seats. The flights were flown with two sets of crew, where the pilots for the return leg occupied the Business Class area of the cabin on the outbound leg of the flight. The crews did not leave the aircraft while on the ground in Beijing while the cargo was loaded. The average time on the ground in Beijing was around four hours. While any new route will bring challenges in getting set up, the fact that Aer Lingus had this new route up and running within a couple of weeks is to be commended and also be able to sustain an operation where up to six flights would be on the route on any particular day. The schedule did not run without its problems as twice aircraft had to return to Dublin with technical issues. Once with a suspected bird strike and another with a faulty warning light from the cargo hold.
While many other airlines have flown into Ireland from China with PPE including Finnair, Hainan, Azerbaijan Airlines, Juneyao Airlines and El Al, the arrival into Shannon Airport of the Antonov An-225 was one that received the most publicity. Other flights carrying PPE are expected to continue over the coming with a new route between Korea and Dublin carrying cargo-only is expected to start in July.
Completion of Critical Supply Operation
✈️ 259 round-trips ✈️ 4.75 million kilometres flown ✈️ 35,000 cubic metres / 4,000 tonnes of cargo ✈️ Over 86 million pieces of Personal Protective EquipmentPosted by Aer Lingus on Friday, 26 June 2020