Patriots Lend Their Boeing 767 To Transport Masks From China

The National Football League (NFL) team New England Patriots used one of its two planes to transport 1.2 million N95 masks from Shenzhen, China, to the United States. This was an effort to assist with the coronavirus pandemic that currently has its epicenter in the United States. Let’s investigate further.

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The New England Patriots sent their own Boeing 767 to bring N95 masks from China. Photo: Getty Images.

Bringing back masks to Massachusetts and New York

The Wall Street Journal first reported this initiative by the NFL team. Of the 1.2 million N95 masks that arrived at Boston Logan International Airport, in Massachusetts, the majority stayed there.

Also, the New England Patriots decided to send 300,000 N95 masks to New York, which currently is the hardest-hit state by the pandemic in the country. This team joined the worldwide companies that are using their fleets to transport cargo while trying to fight the pandemic and the economic problems due to travel restrictions at the moment.

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, said,

“I’ve never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles that we had to overcome. In today’s world, those of us who are fortunate to make a difference have a significant responsibility to do so with all the assets we have available to us.”

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As amazing as it may sound, only the New England Patriots have a plane of their own. Photo: Boeing.

The only NFL team with its own plane

The two Boeing 767-323(ER) with registration numbers N36NE and N225NE belong to the New England Patriots since 2017. It is currently the only team in the NFL to have its own fleet. The other 31 teams have a different system to transport themselves during the regular season.

These airplanes are currently 28.6 years old, as they were delivered to American Airlines in September 1991. A few days ago, American Airlines actually operated its last Boeing 767 commercial flight. They stayed with the carrier until May 2016 when they were acquired by Unical Aviation. Exactly one year later, the New England Patriots bought both airplanes.

Meanwhile, the other 31 NFL teams use charter flights for road games. American Airlines, Delta, United, Atlas Air, Miami Air, and even Virgin Atlantic are some of the airlines that charter the teams.

These means of transportation are actually quite expensive. Sports Business Journal said that in 2017, teams spent almost $4 million on average. The amount doubled from the year prior.

That’s why at some point there were reports that the NFL was discussing getting its own fleet.

A look into the ‘Pats’ fleet

The New England Patriots posted a video of its new fleet back in 2017.

Known as their “AirKrafts”, these two planes have a cabin configuration of 2-3-2 and 2-2-2 with personal entertainment at each seat.

For the team, it was very important to have a wide-body airplane with First Class seats for the team. Each seat is as widest and largest as it can be. They also have five extra inches of legroom, in comparison with typical First Class seats, said Jim Nolan, who is Chief Operating Officer for the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

For some airlines, having teams flying with them is a matter of pride. Delta said last year to ThePointsGuy that it was the “Official Airline of Champions”. Boeing also showed its pride back in 2014 and 2015, when it painted a 747 with the logo of the Seattle Seahawks. The city was celebrating back-to-back appearance in the Super Bowl (with one win and one loss).

What do you think of the initiative by the New England Patriots? Let us know in the comments.