Over the past six weeks, leading aircraft specialist, Air Charter Service, has arranged more than 65 charter flights carrying 3,000 tonnes from China to Australia. Each flight had more than one million Covid test kits on board.
The test kits are provided free to all Australian households and the demand in the country has been extremely high. This prompted a requirement of a series of charter flights to speed up the supply chain. ACS arranged flights from several airports in China, where the kits are manufactured, with the majority flying out from Shenzhen. Due to the shortage of freighter capacity around the world, ACS sourced passenger aircraft that had all the seats removed, allowing a higher volume and payloads of up to 50 tonnes on some of the flights. The charters were managed by ACS’s Australian and Singapore cargo teams utilising Airbus A330-200s, A330-300s and A340-300s.
Jason Bird, Assistant Director & Head of Cargo at Air Charter Service Singapore, flew to Perth to oversee and help in the offload of several of the charters to ensure that everything ran smoothly and on schedule. Jason commented: “With so many charters in such a short timeframe it was essential that every flight stuck to its schedule. We are proud to be able to help rapidly transport these test kits from China here to Perth and other parts of the country, to help to get them distributed across Australia.”
Due to the majority of test kits being manufactured in Asia, Air Charter Service’s offices across the Asia Pacific region have been instrumental in transporting billions of test kits over the past two years to countries around the world.