Coronavirus Pandemic – More Cargo Flights to Deliver Protective Material

Coronavirus Pandemic – More Cargo Flights to Deliver Protective Material

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As part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bundeswehr has organised another three cargo flights to deliver medical protective equipment in the past weeks.

Cargo aircraft Antonov AN-225 landed at airport Leipzig

Cargo aircraft Antonov AN-225 landed at airport Leipzig with medical protective material from China

Bundeswehr/Jana Neumann

On 14, 15 and 16 May respectively, Antonov AN-124 heavy-lift cargo aircraft landed at Leipzig/Halle Airport’s cargo hub. They carried millions of protective masks from China, most of them for medical facilities in Germany. A total of about 147 tonnes of cargo were transported on these three flights.

To help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Bundeswehr aircraft had brought large amounts of medical protective garments before, in late April, based on an agreement between the Federal Ministries of Defence and Health. Back then, some 25 million protective masks were brought to Germany. The relief flights were coordinated by the Bundeswehr Logistics Centre in Wilhelmshaven.

For the six support flights in total, the Bundeswehr employed its Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALISStrategic Airlift International Solution) capacities. Usually, the Bundeswehr primarily uses SALISStrategic Airlift International Solution to supply forces in deployment areas or large-scale exercises. An annual quota of flying hours is available for these purposes. In addition to the AN-124, the Ukrainian cargo airline implementing these flights also owns the only existing type AN-225 Antonov, the largest cargo airplane in the world.

Die Europaflagge weht im Wind

The Member States of the European Union stand together. The Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) provides fundamental assistance when fighting COVID-19.

Bundeswehr/Detmar Modes

The European Union activated the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) in order to support its Member States in the fight against COVID-19. ESI can be utilised whenever a crisis reaches critical levels which threaten severe consequences for the population. Upon request of the Federal Ministry of Defence, the European Union made about 1.2 million euros from the Emergency Support Instrument available to Germany to co-finance the urgently required SALISStrategic Airlift International Solution cargo flights.