Air Partner Charters Two Flights Out Of Wuhan For UK And EU Nationals

(Alliance News) - Aviation services firm Air Partner PLC said Friday the UK government asked it ...

Alliance News 14 February, 2020 | 11:04AM
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(Alliance News) - Aviation services firm Air Partner PLC said Friday the UK government asked it to arrange two charter flights evacuating UK and EU nationals from Wuhan in China to a Royal Air Force base in the UK.

Wuhan is the epicentre of the deadly outbreak of the coronavirus.

The most recent death toll neared 1,400 on Friday. Nearly 64,000 people are now recorded as having been made ill by the virus in China, with the last two days showing a steep rise after a change in diagnostic methods.

Air Partner chartered two flights from Wuhan, which departed on January 31 and February 8, carrying 125 and 213 passengers, respectively, and taking them to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The company also chartered an additional flight on February 2 from France to the UK, brining back UK nationals who had been on a flight out of Wuhan arranged by the French government.

Boeing Co's 747-400 aircraft were used for the flights, with Air Partner citing their high-density seating configuration and long-distance range, which meant the flights could operate non-stop between the two destinations.

Air Partner also noted the aircraft had two levels, allowing the evacuees to be separated from the flight crew and an additional section in the nose, creating an isolation zone.

The company said the number of coronavirus-related enquiries it has received over the last four weeks has increased.

"This includes increased private jet enquiries, requests for medical equipment cargo flights and emergency evacuations," the company explained.

Chief Executive Mark Briffa added: "The coronavirus outbreak has been an extremely difficult time for everyone involved and we are very pleased to have safely repatriated a large number of British and EU nationals on behalf of the UK government.

"The circumstances were challenging, the deadlines tight and difficult permissions were required but we were able to execute the evacuation on account of the experience and dedication of our combined Air Partner team, our close working relationship with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the professionalism and flexibility of our partner airline operator. From all of us at Air Partner, we wish everyone affected by the virus a speedy recovery."

Shares in Air Partner were trading 5.5% higher in London on Friday at 74.60 pence each.

By Paul McGowan;

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Air Partner PLC 76.80 GBX 5.06 -

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