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Air China Cargo Transports Relief Materials from China to Ecuador

-Three charters take off successively from Tianjin


A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the five northwestern coastal provinces of Ecuador. As an expression of the deep friendship between the Chinese people and those affected by the disaster, at 23:40 on 26th April Beijing Time, the first freighter carrying 87T Chinese government relief took off from Tianjin Binhai international airport to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. As theshipper in this emergency humanitarian mission, Air China Cargo urgently dispatched three B747-400F aircraft to transport Chinese government relief. The first freighter arrived at Quito on the night on 27th April Beijing time.

It has been reported that the relief materials on the three flights include tents, blankets, folding bed, for those affected by the disaster, with 7900 pieces weighing more than 244 tons.The second freighter took off at 05:42 on 27th April, while the third freighter took off at 05:50 on the following day.

Disasters are directives. Senior management in Air China has placed great importance in this mission, and specifically provided directives for this mission. After receiving notification to transport these relief supplies, Air China Cargo responded rapidly, quickly launching a major transportation proposal according to its charter standard operating procedure. A charter preparation meeting was held on the afternoon of 22nd April, involving effective coordination between the flying, operations, engineering, planning and services departments, kick starting all operations smoothly.

As Ecuador is not a regular destination for Air China Cargo freighters, its Operation Control Centrestarted route planningand route application overnight. The best route passes throughRussia, Canada, The United States, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia.It was a race against time for staff in the centre, with route application completed before 22:00 on 22ndApril. With the assistance of government departments and Chinese embassies abroad, all route applications were completed. After the charter took off, the centre assigned dispatch staff on duty to monitor the entire flight process through its Flight Operation Monitoring System, ensuring the successful completion of the charters.

In order to bring relief to the disaster area as soon as possible, Air China Cargo was reminded of its responsibility and mission as a flag carrier. The planning department canceled regular commercialflights, and deployed B747-400freightersfor the mission. To ensure the safe completion of flights, Air China Cargo especially selected crew members to perform this mission. He Youlin, deputy chief pilot of Air China Cargo, Wu Yusheng, the B747 manager of the Flight Operations Department and other crew members operated the flight.Meanwhile, Air China Cargo also focused on operations support for the flights. The Engineering Department conducted a comprehensive and rigorous check before the flight. The flights carried spareaircraft partsto ensure the success of the charter. The airline alsoarranged Zhang Lin, the aircraft repair and control manager of the EngineeringDepartment, and senior engineers Geng Husheng and Sheng Guowei, as riding engineers for the flight.

As Quito, the capital of Ecuador, isnot a destination for Air China Cargo’s regular flights, there was a lack of the support equipment and operational experience locally. The services department quickly appointed a third-party company for local ground handling. To ensure the success of the charter, the Service Support Department and Cargo Terminals Division sent two veterans, Zhong Anqing and Zhang Tianlin, to Tianjin to monitor loading. Meanwhile, charter veterans were also dispatched from head office and Los Angeles, Hou Jian and Li Xiang, were also dispatched toEcuador to lead local operations. On 25th April, the relief supplies arrived in the Air China Cargo’s Tianjin Terminal. Tianjin Terminal opened a special channel for relief delivery and safety inspection. Staff remained in contact around the clock. The airline also arranged highly-skilled staff to efficiently complete unloading, security clearance, storage, build-up, weighing. Meanwhile, with the cooperation of Tianjin International Airport, Customs and other authorities, relief service and support were completed quickly.

As the only flag-bearing cargo airlines in China, Air China Cargo has successfully completed humanitarian relief charters during the Pakistan earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Mexican influenza, Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan, the Chilean earthquake and other major disasters.