A 40,000 Km Trip: Aerolíneas Plans 6 More Flights To China

Aerolíneas Argentinas announced six more humanitarian flights between Argentina and China. The airline plans to operate these flights during November. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America, Aerolíneas has flown to China several times. Let’s do a quick recap.

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Aerolíneas Argentinas is launching six more cargo flights to China. Photo: Getty Images.

A tour around the world

Aerolíneas Argentinas flew the first of the six flights to China yesterday. The other flights are scheduled for November 5, 9, 12, 16, and 20. They will depart from Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires en route to Guangzhou, China.

The flight routes are interesting, though. From Buenos Aires, the Airbus A330 will fly to Madrid, Spain, where it makes a stopover. Then it departs again to Guangzhou, covering in total a whopping 20,456 kilometers.

On the way back, however, Aerolíneas will leave Guangzhou and land in Auckland, New Zealand. Then, from there, fly back to Buenos Aires, covering an additional 19,618 kilometers. In total, Aerolíneas’ A330 will fly 40,074 kilometers, passing through every inhabited continent.

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This trip will cover over 40,000 kilometers. Photo: GCMap

What is Aerolíneas bringing with these flights?

Aerolíneas Argentinas is launching these operations as humanitarian flights. It is bringing medical supplies from China to help the Argentinian Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, Argentina has over 1.18 million COVID-19 cases and 31,623 deaths. The South American country is in the top 10 worldwide of COVID-19 cases and faces an economic crisis. So far, the Argentinian peso has devalued by 22%.

With the flights, Aerolíneas will carry 24 tons of medical supplies, on average. It is using its fleet of commercial A330 aircraft, which the airline readapted for cargo operations.

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How many flights has Aerolíneas done to China?

On April 15, Aerolíneas Argentinas flew its first Airbus A330 to China to bring medical supplies. Before that flight, Pablo Ceriani, Aerolíneas’ CEO, said,

“We are planning to go on making this kind of flight at least twice per week based upon the needs and as requested by the Government. This is our contribution, and the people involved in these operations are truly happy to serve the country.”

Now, more than half a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Aerolíneas Argentinas has operated over 35 humanitarian flights between Buenos Aires and Shanghai. Between April and July, Aerolíneas brought over 887 tons of medical supplies, said the carrier in a statement seen by Simple Flying.

Unlike the first 35 flights, the only difference is that these operations will use Madrid as one of the stopovers. Previous to that, Aerolíneas only used Auckland.

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Argentina was in lockdown for over six months. Some airlines, like LATAM Argentina, ceased operations. Photo: Getty Images.

A quick recap of Aerolíneas’ latest developments

Aerolíneas Argentinas has had to face one of the most challenging aviation crisis in the world. Argentina closed its airspace for more than seven months, freezing every commercial flight in and out of the country. In late October, Argentina allowed a few domestic flights but with harsh restrictions. And even with those restrictions, Aerolíneas had to threaten its unruly customers to play by the rules when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Government continues to move forward with the merger of Aerolíneas and Austral. Finally, for November, Aerolíneas plans to operate more than 650 domestic, regional, and international flights, said the company.

What do you think of these humanitarian flights? Let us know in the comments.