Airbus ships 4 million masks in Europe

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus sent 4 million masks from China over the weekend, most of which were destined for the health authorities of the founding countries of Airbus, to combat the coronavirus pandemic, a spokeswoman for the group said on Sunday.

At 9:35 a.m., an Airbus A350-1000 belonging to the European manufacturer landed at Toulouse airport, the headquarters of Airbus in southwestern France, to unload the cargo, under the surveillance of the gendarmerie, an AFP photographer noted.

On Saturday evening, the plane from Tianjin (China) had landed in Hamburg, the other major site of the aeronautics group in Germany, to drop off the first batch of masks. “Congratulations to the Airbus team back from China, with 4 million masks mainly for governments and medical services, as part of our effort to support them in their fight against COVID-19,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said on Twitter.

In a statement, Airbus said the masks would be distributed in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom and that this was the third such rotation between Europe and China implemented by the aircraft manufacturer.

Design and manufacture of respirators

“Since mid-March, two similar missions have been carried out by an A330-800 and an A330 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport). Airbus has also chartered an A400M and its fleet of Beluga aircraft to transport mask cargo between its European sites,” the press release adds.

Airbus also underlines that the company is using its know-how to “engage in the design and production of 3D printed respirators and visors, essential equipment for hospitals”.

On Sunday, the Chinese authorities indicated that since the beginning of March, their country had sold nearly four billion masks and medical equipment to foreign countries, for a total value of more than 1.33 billion euros.