As the world's biggest players, regardless of their fields, have joined hands to fight in solidarity against COVID-19, Boeing is doing its bit to reduce the gap in demand and supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers. In strenuous times such as this, Boeing assigned its Dreamlifter a converted Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter, to complete yet another COVID-19 transport mission - this time carrying 1.5 million medical-grade face masks from Hong Kong to South Carolina.
The Atlas Air pilots flew the Boeing Dreamlifter from Hong Kong to Anchorage, a 9 hour 10 minute journey, and from Anchorage on to Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina, a 6 hour and 26 minute flight, to deliver the 1.5M face masks. The contribution and solidarity of private companies to fulfil the dire demands of the healthcare system is commendable.
"Boeing is proud to be part of this historic flight to bring vital PPE to healthcare workers across South Carolina. I want to offer my personal thanks to the Boeing team and our Atlas Air partners for what they've done to support this essential mission and ensure our frontline healthcare workers have the equipment they critically need," Dave Calhoun, president and CEO of Boeing, said in a statement.
Shipping 1.5mn face masks
While Boeing played a crucial role in the transportation of the PPEs from overseas, there are other parties involved in the crucial act to make this a success. For instance, Discommon secured the face-masks from China so Boeing could carry it to Prisma Health, which is South Carolina's biggest healthcare system. Making more than a 15-hour journey possible, Boeing was supported by Altas Air, which operated the flights. Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport.
"Atlas Air is honored to be part of this vital mission. We thank the front-line responders who continue to meet the overwhelming needs of South Carolinians. The healthcare professionals in the Prisma Health System have been relentless and resilient, and transporting the critical equipment they need is one small way to thank them," John W. Dietrich, president and CEO, Atlas Air Worldwide, said.
Prisma Health applauded Boeing's efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prisma Health is also donating 100,000 of the face masks to the healthcare officials at Medical University of South Carolina.
Prior to this mission, Boeing's 737-700 aircraft flew nearly 540,000 medical-grade face masks from China to Manchester-Boston Regional airport a week ago. The company has said that it will be working closely with the US government officials to assist in any way it can during the pandemic.