• Ayrshire Daily News

Prestwick Airport welcomes PPE flight from China carrying 10 MILLION face masks for Scotland

Video of the operation is included in this article.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport yesterday (18 April 2020) welcomed a freighter flight from China, carrying vital personal protective equipment (PPE) destined for healthcare workers in Scotland.

Photo: Glasgow Prestwick Airport/NHS National Services Scotland

The plane was said to have been carrying 10 million fluid-resistant masks, as well as virus testing kits for use in health board labs.


The airport was selected to handle the crucial flights thanks to its superior freight handling facilities. AirBridgeCargo, one of the world’s leading all cargo airlines, operated this flight in conjunction with freight forwarders JAG-UFS Group.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport has vast experience handling specialist, large scale, high volume and quick turnaround air freight and Saturday’s flight was offloaded and on its way to healthcare workers within a few hours of the plane touching down.


Photo: Glasgow Prestwick Airport/NHS National Services Scotland
Stewart Adams, chief executive at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, said:

“While the Coronavirus pandemic has meant the vast majority of commercial aircraft has been grounded, we’re continuing to operate our specialist freight-handling services in order to play an important part in supporting Scotland’s key workers during this difficult time.


"The PPE which we are receiving from China will be processed quickly so that this vital delivery can make its way to those who need it most, as soon as possible.”

In the video below, provided by Glasgow Prestwick Airport, you can see the flight coming in and teams getting the PPE off and prepared for delivery.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport offers the widest range of aviation services in Scotland including: passenger and charter air travel, air cargo handling, training flights, MRO facilities (maintenance, repair and overhaul), private and military aviation services and other fixed base operator services such as fuelling.


Amongst the huge delivery of face masks was thousands of virus sampling kits - as seen in the video.

Handlers preparing the PPE stock for delivery across Scotland
Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee said:

“Scotland’s health and social care system is facing unprecedented demand.


“Protecting staff working on the frontline is an absolute priority which is why we have been working at pace with the NHS and manufacturers both in Scotland and internationally to improve and increase the supply of PPE.


“This charter flight, carrying additional equipment ordered by the Scottish Government, is significant and we will be focusing the distribution of these supplies to health and social care settings over the coming days.


“In these incredibly challenging times the Scottish Government will continue to do all it can to make health and social care staff feel as safe as possible in their workplace.”


Jim Miller, Director of Procurement, Commissioning and Facilities at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), said:

“This delivery is the result of a painstaking collective effort involving multiple partners working together to provide our NHS and social care colleagues with the PPE they need to keep them safe.


“Together with supply partners and Scottish Government, NSS continues to work 24/7 to source and supply the PPE that Scotland needs to fight COVID-19.”

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