What do pilots do when non-emergency air travel is grounded? For pilots of Aer Lingus, during this time of national emergency, the answer to that questions is: whatever they can to help the country out.
The Irish Mirror ran an incredible story today that proves the distances some people in this country are willing to go to fight this crisis. Listen to any medical expert and they will tell you that the big problem in coping with the coronavirus is the massive strain it puts on medical equipment, namely ventilators. It looks like China is coming out the other side of this emergency both with lessons learned on how to fight this disease and essential equipment that can be put to use. There's one small problem: how do you get the equipment to Ireland?
Amazingly, Aer Lingus pilots have volunteered to fly to China at least 60 times in the coming weeks to collect supplies.
An Aer Lingus source told the Mirror:
"Dozens of Aer Lingus pilots put their hand up to volunteer to make sure these essential supplies make it here. The seats will be absolutely packed with medical equipment such as ventilators, masks, goggles, testing kits and more. The pilots won't even be able to get off the aircraft or else they'll be put into quarantine.
The Chinese government have also said they'll do everything they can to do to help Aer Lingus on these journeys.
The Embassy has already working on their visas, waiving visa fee as a small gesture of friendship.
We also do our best to help Aer Lingus to get slots at very busy airports in Beijing. Hundreds charter flights applications there now. https://t.co/Qj7zSGYp50
— Chinese Embassy in Ireland (@ChinaEmbIreland) March 25, 2020
It's a really brilliant initiative from these pilots. Essentially they'll fly without crew, land, fill their planes with supplies and then head back to Ireland. We know how vital these supplies will be, so this is actually a livesaving intervention by these pilots. It's also brilliant to see the growing alliance between China and Ireland in the fight against Covid-19. Time ago, America was the world leader in world crises but it's nice to be making new friendships.
We are beyond #grateful to The Association of Chinese Professionals in Ireland for their donation of 10,000 surgical masks to #SJH to protect our #FrontLineHeroes.🇨🇳🇮🇪❤️#ThankYou #unitetofight #COVID19 #Covid_19ireland pic.twitter.com/RTs1mhwbdT
— St. James's Hospital (@stjamesdublin) March 25, 2020
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