CharterSync lands 250th flight out of China carrying Covid supplies


Digital air cargo charter firm, CharterSync, has landed its 250th flight out of China carrying Covid-19 medical supplies.

The flights, which have been conducted between November 2021 and March 2022, included the arrival of 57 flights delivering syringes and test kits to the UK. An an additional 193 flights unloaded at European airports including Paris Charles de Gaulle and Madrid’s Barajas International Airport.

Co-founder and director of CharterSync, Ed Gillett, said: “When Omicron first hit the UK, and demand for test kits accelerated, it was vital to think creatively to find the required belly-space against ultra-tight deadlines.”

Gillett said narrow-bodied aircraft are not typically employed for long-haul flights due to their lower fuel capacity. However, CharterSync made “the unconventional – and ultimately successful – decision” to use short-haul passenger and freight aircraft in addition to the wide-bodied Boeing 747s, 777s, and Airbus A330s already in its fleet.

“Even when factoring in a refuelling stop en route, CharterSync was able to deliver the goods on schedule,” added Gillett.

In the UK, CharterSync bypassed traditional hubs such as Heathrow to land cargoes at Liverpool, Birmingham and Bournemouth. In China, the company targeted regional airports such as Wuhan, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhengzhou to “ensure fastest possible turnaround”.

“Using regional airports was a key part of our strategy,” said Gillett, an Airbus A321 pilot himself. “In the UK, leveraging spare capacity in Liverpool, Birmingham and Bournemouth allowed our customers to skip the queues at Heathrow and East Midlands Airport, and to expedite unloading when the major hubs were congested. In China, where major hubs are experiencing a chronic shortage of trained ground staff, we off-set this by targeting lower-volume airports.”