Heathrow Airport is repurposing its operation and scaling up its cargo offering as the Covid-19 crisis gathers pace, and has called on more airlines and freight companies to help get medical goods and food to the nation as it tackles the global pandemic.
The airport says it air freight capacity will keep vital supply lines open and help to get time-critical and temperature-sensitive goods, such as medical supplies and food, across the UK as the country pulls together to battle Covid-19.
Logistics companies have already begun playing a key role in this fight, by importing Covid-19 testing kits via Heathrow, in preparation for increased demand.
Next week, Heathrow’s cargo movements are forecast to increase by 53%, as more airlines and freighters use the available capacity to transport goods which will assist in the fight against coronavirus – and the airport says this figure is set to increase further as the airport scales up its cargo operation.
Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: “This is an unprecedented time for the international community, with Covid-19 requiring us all to work together, adapt and adopt extraordinary measures to quell the spread of this virus. For the first time in a decade, our airport has additional capacity in its schedule, capacity which we’ve begun to see used to help push vital supplies across the globe to help support frontline teams in the battle against this pandemic.
“We stand ready to support the country through this crisis. Our intention is to remain open at all times to serve those passenger flights that will continue to operate. And as the UK’s biggest port, we will temporarily increase the number of dedicated cargo flights. These will bring in vital supplies of food and medical equipment to help Britain weather this storm.”