An Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft took off from Toulouse, France, on April 3, 2020, towards Tianjin, China, where it will collect protective masks that will be brought back to Europe. It is the third cargo flight operated by the manufacturer since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
While some of the medical supplies brought back by Airbus are used by its own employees who continue production, most are being given to European health systems.
On March 23, 2020, an A330-800 delivered two million of protective masks destined to hospitals. A second flight on March 28, transported four million masks in an A330, which is still in the process of being converted into an MRTT. They were shared among France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Those exceptional air bridges are all carried out on the company’s own funds.
Over the last 48 hours, we have flown an @airbus #A330MRTT, from Getafe, Spain to Tianjin, China and back to ferry more than 4 millions masks and medical supplies we’ll be donating to governments in Europe. #COVID19 https://t.co/ykrH2IC0m4 pic.twitter.com/T6Wxi3dqXD
— Airbus Defence (@AirbusDefence) March 28, 2020
France has also contracted two giants, the Antonov 124 heavy transporters operated by the Russian company Volga Dnepr, to carry out two rotations per week between China and Paris, also loaded with medical supplies.