Fourth Virgin Atlantic cargo flight brings hundreds of thousands of PPE items from China to UK

Cargo is loaded onto a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9
PA Media
Head shot of Tania Steere.  She is smiling, with long, wavy blonde hair
by Tania Steere
14 April 2020

Virgin Atlantic has flown more than three quarters of a million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) from China to the UK.

The cargo flight, which carried 16 tonnes of PPE, including 690,000 face masks and 95,000 visors, was chartered by the NHS and the Department of Health.

Every available spot onboard was used including passenger seats and in overhead lockers, as well as in the hold. The items will be distributed across the UK. Tuesday’s flight was the fourth of eight cargo-only operations the airline is running from Shanghai to Heathrow this month to deliver medical supplies.

Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic’s cargo division, said the airline is “playing a part” to support the NHS by carrying “crucial” medical supplies to the UK. He added: “It’s more important than ever to keep global supply chains running and transporting the equipment that teams here in the UK urgently need, working closely with our partners to make this happen.”

Virgin Atlantic operated its first cargo-only flight from Heathrow to New York on March 22nd, carrying medical and pharmaceutical goods. It has cancelled the majority of its passenger flights due to the drop in demand and travel restrictions, and next week will temporarily switch most of its remaining scheduled flights to cargo-only services. To find out more head over to Virgin Atlantic