Taking care of you has always been the number one priority for SkyTeam and its members, and over the last few months this has become more important than ever. Each of our 19 members has joined the global efforts to help ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to find out about some of the actions they have taken to help during this time.
Our members have been working alongside governments to bring home citizens. To date, SkyTeam members have conducted more than 2,000 repatriation flights, reuniting 700,000 people with their loved ones.
Aerolíneas Argentinas has operated 67 flights from cities around the world, bringing 20,000 Argentines back home. Alitalia has also repatriated 20,000 citizens and Aeroflot a remarkable 50,000 people.
The Air France-KLM Group has facilitated the repatriation of over half a million passengers. As part of these efforts, a KLM aircraft touched down in Australia for the first time in 20 years. The airline conducted six flights to Sydney helping 2,000 Dutch nationals.
MEA has brought close to 19,000 people back to Lebanon, while China Airlines and Garuda Indonesia have carried out several repatriation flights from cities including Delhi, Shanghai, Tokyo and Wuhan.
MEA crew prepare for a reparation flight on a A330
As people have stayed safe at home, the skies have remained open for the transport of essential goods. SkyTeam members have acted quickly to support the supply chain, moving tens of thousands of tons since the start of the pandemic. China Airlines is responsible for over 10,000 tons alone.
Vietnam Airlines has transported more than 1,000 tons of medical supplies, equivalent to 34.3 million face masks, to its Ministry of Defence’s field hospitals and centralized quarantine areas.
Air France and KLM have set up an air bridge with China for the transportation of masks and other vital equipment into France and the Netherlands. This comprises seven weekly flights, equating to 500 tons of cargo weekly.
April 25th, Saudia Cargo achieved an industry record uplift of 65.3 tons in the belly of a B777 pax aircraft, operated as a freighter. This flight carried essential food supplies from Lahore, Pakistan into Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, members have boosted the volume of goods transported per flight by carrying extra cargo within the cabin of passenger aircraft. This enabled Czech Airlines to transport one million face masks among other supplies from Shanghai into the Czech Republic using an A319. Likewise, a TAROM B737 carried over 350,000 FFP2 face masks which have been distributed among Romanian hospitals.
Medical goods being loaded into a China Airlines B747F in Taipei Taoyuan
The biggest element of any alliance is collaboration, working together for the greater good has never been more critical.
In the early stages of the pandemic, Korean Air was quick to respond, donating emergency relief supplies to residents of stricken Wuhan. The carrier delivered 40,000 KF94 face masks to the Red Cross Society of China in Beijing who distributed them to hospitals in Wuhan. Another example of friendship comes from Xiamen Air who donated 10,000 and 20,000 masks to Korean Air and KLM, respectively.
Using its fleet of wide-body aircraft, China Eastern has delivered over 6,000 tons of medical supplies to more than 20 countries including Croatia, Czech Republic and Italy.
Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM, receiving a donation of facemasks from Xiamen Air
Throughout this period, we have seen and heard tales of extraordinary sacrifice from millions of individuals as communities come together to help those in need. SkyTeam members have assisted in these efforts in any small way that they can.
Air France donated inflight products to over 20 French hospitals, which included more than 17,000 comfort kits as well as thousands of sleeping masks and earplugs for patients and carers. Similarly, Air Europa donated 4,000 blankets, 2,000 amenity kits and 1,000 pillows to Madrid's Ifema field hospital.
Delta Air Lines donated over 90 tons of food to those in need and the airline’s staff are producing 5,000 face shields a day to support the healthcare industry. They also continue to offer free flights to medical personnel in the United States.
To assist with control efforts, Xiamen Air has conducted 52 charter flights to transport close to 6,000 doctors and nurses to affected cities within China, while also flying a special medical team to the Philippines.
Kenya Airways has also supported its government by distributing over 3,000 liters of hand sanitizer to Kenyan communities. Furthermore, the airline’s upholstery teams are producing up-cycled masks from obsolete material for more than 4,000 staff and local residents.
Delta Air Lines staff preparing a donation of unused food
This is just a snapshot of the actions taken by SkyTeam member airlines. In the coming months each of our airlines will continue to support their local communities and countries. One day we will see each other again, on the ground, on the tarmac, and in the skies. Until that time, from our family to yours.
Stay safe. SkyTeam. #StayConnected.