According to NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), the Czech Republic will use Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) to transfer urgent medical equipment from China and help tackling the coronavirus crisis in the country.
In total, three SALIS missions will take place in the next days, under Czech Republic request.
The AN-124-100 aircraft of Antonov Airlines, airlift subdivision of ANTONOV COMPANY, will arrive to Shenzhen Airport, in southeaster China. It will carry 70 tons of urgent protective medical equipment, including surgery veils, respirators and protective googles among other kits to the Czech Republic.
This is a challenging mission, commented an NSPA Officer. “Our contractor Antonov Logistics SALIS (ALS) has implemented procedures to ensure maximum protection for the aircrew. For example, direct contact between the aircrew and the locals at the destination is forbidden. Chinese Authorities have accepted to deviate from their national rules, allowing aircrew to stay on board during the passport controls”, he explained.
Additional crewmembers have been allocated to these missions to enable non-stop flights from Shenzhen to Pardubice airport (Czech Republic) and special permits granted to overcome the current restrictions.
The next two SALIS missions, scheduled on 23 and 31 March, will follow a similar itinerary and procedure.