A passenger plane bearing the logo “Thank you NHS” has landed in the UK with a cargo of surgical gowns from China.
The Airbus 340, with boxes strapped into every seat, arrived earlier at Bournemouth Airport.
NHS supplier Crest Medical said it was using passenger jets as well as cargo planes in order to “ramp up” imports of protective personal equipment (PPE).
The firm said it had more than doubled its PPE supplies since January.
Director David Lawrence said the coronavirus outbreak had increased the need for “critical PPE” in hospitals.
He said: “It’s the number of glove changes, the number of gown changes and the number of people using them.”
The Warrington-based firm is planning at least five more flights using passenger jets supplied by European Aviation.
The Bournemouth company arranged for the plane to be specially painted with the NHS message.
Chairman Paul Stoddart said: “We had four of these aircraft in passenger configuration but perfectly ready to go with crews etc.
“Although I hear plenty of criticism around about the government being slow… I can tell you first-hand it’s been a magnificent effort and ministers have been available day and night.”
Crest Medical said the 120,000 newly-manufactured surgical suits were unloaded quickly and moved to an NHS warehouse.
A second flight, bringing 10,000 boxes of gloves from Malaysia, is due to arrive on Thursday.
Updates from Crest Medical via Twitter:
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Published: 27th June 2020
Source: BBC Dorset, @CrestMedicalLTD via Twitter
Page URL: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-52460823
Millie joined the BHTA in March 2019 after completing an Extended Diploma in Level 3 Creative Media.