Among closed-border policies and countries’ restrictions, transporting patients, health professionals, medical supplies or carrying out urgent missions have been the major challenges for LATAM Airlines Group’s Solidary Plane program in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
Due to its commitment and effort during the pandemic, the Solidary Plane transported over 400 health professionals in order to address COVID-19 needs and also allowed more than 300 people suffering from various diseases to receive medical treatment or urgent surgery in the region. Additionally, for the first time ever, it landed in China in order to transport medical supplies, including mechanical ventilators.
Nine years after its implementation, the Solidary Plane has become a vital air bridge for humanitarian and health needs in Latin America. “The Solidary Plane is active all year round, and now more than ever it is flying to support the region in fighting one of the world’s worst health crisis. To this date, we have transported more than 400 tons of medical supplies including masks, rapid COVID-19 tests, mechanical ventilators and medicines, among others. This has benefitted Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina”, states LATAM Airlines Group’s Head of Sustainability, Francisca Arias.
Part of these supplies come from China in over 60-hour flights considering the round trip. A team of more than 30 people participate in these flights’ planning and execution, remaining a challenge for the airline. The company even decided to reconfigure two of their most modern Boeing aircraft (787 and 777), removing part of the cabin seats to increase cargo space.