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Bualadh Bos* - Aer Lingus Deliver the Goods!

9th April 2020 - 11:55am

Aer Lingus pilots and ground operations team responded in huge numbers to travel to Beijing

Aer Lingus pilots and ground operations team responded in huge numbers to travel to Beijing

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* Irish language means 'Clapping or 'Applause'

Big shout out to Captain Brian O'Sullivan and his Aer Lingus colleagues who have arrived back in Dublin after their vital trip to Beijing, China collecting essential supplies for frontline HSE Ireland staff. Well done to everyone involved in helping to flatten the curve.

 

Aer Lingus gives an insight as to how it happened. There was just 7 days to plan and launch this critical operation that has Aer Lingus transport vital cargo over 3 months on up to five non-stop flights per day between Beijing and Dublin. Getting an operation of this scale and complexity off the ground in one week is unprecedented. Multiple teams worked around the clock to achieve the impossible in record time.

 

Securing overfly rights for the routing and approvals from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), getting permits and landing slots in Beijing, coordinating with handling agents and freight forwarders in Beijing and creating a schedule and roster for the extensive flying programme were just some of the hurdles overcome in seven days. These tasks normally take months to achieve.

 

The support and expertise offered by Aer Lingus partners in this endeavour, including IAG Cargo, the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) and its Safety and Technical Committee, and the IAA was instrumental.

 

With up to five daily flights, the Dublin – Beijing operation is now the busiest daily route from Dublin Airport. The flight distance is c.4,500 nautical miles and flight time is 10 hours there and 11 back with 6 hours to load the cargo in Beijing.

 

Five pilots (2 Captains & 3 First Officers), 2 engineers and a loadmaster (responsible for loading & stowage of cargo) are needed to undertake each 28-hour round trip.

 

Aer Lingus’ maintenance and engineering teams quickly developed innovative solutions to maximise cargo transportation potential. As well as loading cargo in the belly of the A330 aircraft, materials are also being loaded and secured into the main passenger cabin. This approach was swiftly approved by the IAA. Each batch from Beijing consists of 600 tonnes of materials, including personal protective equipment like masks, goggles, gowns, gloves and more to help medical staff in Ireland’s fight against COVID-19.

 

The first critical supply flight EI 9019 EI-EAV, an Airbus A330 St Ronán, arrived in Dublin on Sunday 29 March from Beijing. The cargo was offloaded by Aer Lingus, IAG Cargo and the Irish Defence Forces and quickly distributed to medical staff around Ireland.


Click thumbnail to see a larger image

Aer Lingus pilots and ground operations team responded in huge numbers to travel to Beijing
Aer Lingus pilots and ground operations team responded in huge numbers to travel to Beijing
Materials were also loaded into the main passenger cabin
Cargo was offloaded by Aer Lingus, IAG Cargo and the Irish Defence Forces and quickly distributed around Ireland

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