Manned by seven pilots and four cabin crew, the Boeing 787-9 carried over 350,000 items of essential supplies, including respirators, ventilator parts, face masks, scrubs, aprons and eye protection, making use of the hold and the cabin space.
The special flight was organised in partnership with Virgin Group’s not-for-profit foundation, Virgin Unite.
Dominic Kennedy, Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the NHS for everything they are doing for the nation in extremely challenging circumstances, as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re pleased we can play a part in supporting them, by bringing crucial supplies in to the UK. With special thanks to the British Embassy in Beijing, the CAA and the UK Government in expediting clearances to make this possible.”
Virgin Atlantic is now operating just cargo-only flights, a first for the airline since its launch in 1984.