Amid the extraordinary situation facing the world by the spread of COVID-19, Avianca Cargo is providing uninterrupted freight transport service now with the support of aircraft and passenger crew, to contribute to the supply of food, medical equipment, toiletries, and medicines. Early today, a 787-800 aircraft, dedicated to passenger transport, made its first cargo flight, carrying nearly 20 tons of essential goods on each journey in its “belly.” With this flight, the cargo operation has already been transported 15,000 tons in the means of the crisis.
The flight took off at 01:30 local time in Colombia, with 4 pilots being part of Avianca and landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 07:30 hours. The cargo was carried at the bottom deck of the aircraft, the section dedicated to this purpose.
To operate this flight full of cargo, but with empty seats, it was necessary to take additional measures for the care and protection of onboard and ground personnel. The company established protocols to minimize physical contact, as well as provided cleaning kits and protective items to employees, antibacterial gel, gloves, and digital thermometers to the crew and staff members who have contact and are exposed to the public. Also, it has delivered alcohol and towels for cleaning keyboards and accessories in the offices and carried out additional disinfection work in bathrooms and offices of the cargo terminals.
“Achieving this operation has been a major logistical challenge for Avianca. Prioritizing the safety of our personnel and operation, we have adapted to the regulations of the different countries to continue to provide our cargo services uninterrupted. With this first flight on a passenger aircraft, we managed to transport about 20 tons of necessities on each journey,” said Kurt Schosinsky, Managing Director of Avianca Cargo.
Avianca Cargo currently has six A330-200F freighters, plus five aircraft from its affiliated company AeroUnion, three A300-600s, and two B767-200s. The fleet of this operation serves the international market covering Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Miami, Madrid, Brussels, and major Latin American cities.
From March 16 to the 22 alone, Avianca Cargo mobilized more than 6 million kilograms of cargo. Of this volume, 600 tons were food such as fish, fruits and vegetables, and another 250 tons of medicines, medical equipment, and toiletries. These volumes were achieved thanks to the operation of 138 freighter flights, of which 3 were charter service, supplemented by the capacity of the bellies of 720 passenger flights before the operation was restricted.