Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Emirates to fly COVID relief to India for free

International carrier Emirates has joined the list of companies doing their bit to help India fight the second wave of COVID-19. The Dubai-based airline will allow NGOs and humanitarian organisations to utilise vacant space on 95 of its India-bound flights to ship COVID relief materials for free.

The second wave of COVID-19 in the country has proven deadlier than the last one.

From multipurpose tents with oxygen beds, oxygen concentrators, PPE suits and masks, to safety boxes and syringes, Emirates is readying the first of its flights to fly out of Dubai to New Delhi, on Thursday. The cargo, the airline says, is being sourced from NGOs, including the World Health Organisation, who will fly them to nine cities in India on board Emirates’ wide-body aircraft for free.

“In the next few days, we’ll be moving 12 tons,” said Dennis Lister, VP of Commercial and Product Development at Emirates SkyCargo. “We are also working with a massive NGO in Dubai to get across a thousand cubic metres in the next week,” Lister added.

The cargo on-board Emirates’ aircraft includes shipments assembled at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City. The airline is calling the initiative a humanitarian air bridge between Dubai and India.

The plan is to allow NGOs to use up unutilised space on the cargo hold of its Eastern-bound aircraft to send COVID-related relief material to India. Emirates will fly 95 of its Boeing 777-300ers per week to major Indian cities; it hopes to keep doing this until the second wave blows over.

11/05/21 Jude Sannith/CNBC TV18

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