Over the last three months, while the majority of
British Airways’ fleet has been grounded due to the ongoing global
COVID19 pandemic, the airline has been keeping vital air links
open to repatriate UK residents and fly much needed PPE equipment
to the UK for the NHS.
Since 29 March, the airline has operated 134
worldwide repatriation flights carrying nearly 40,000 passengers.
The airline’s rescue efforts have seen the flag
carrier fly from
more than 33 cities in 21 countries, some, such as Guyana, Cuba, Tanzania and Bangladesh,
not normally part of British Airways’ route network.
As well as playing its part in reuniting families
and friends, British Airways and IAG Cargo continues to fly vital
PPE, medical supplies and food on 21 charter flights a week from
China to the UK. To enable the airline to carry as many supplies
as possible, it has temporarily converted two of its Boeing 777
passenger jets into dedicated cargo aircraft, removing seats to
create an extra 100m³ of space on each flight.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said,
“Since our first repatriation flight from Peru with nearly three
hundred customers at the beginning of this global pandemic, we
have flown to countries that we have never operated to before,
bringing tens of thousands of citizens home to their loved ones. I would like to extend my personal thanks to our
pilots, crew and engineers at British Airways who have helped make
these flights possible and ensure our frontline workers have the
supplies they need.”
British Airways has also donated more than 200,000
items including washbags, socks, snacks and blankets to more than
90 community projects, NHS hospitals, care homes and food banks
across the UK to support the COVID19 response and many of the
airline’s workers have volunteered to support the NHS and other organisations during this period.
The airline also supported the Avios Thank You
appeal, which will see 305 million Avios rewarded to at least 5,083
NHS workers. Avios Group Ltd kick started the appeal by donating
210 million Avios points, with members of the British Airways
Executive Club donating an additional 95 million.