Alitalia’s AZ 9478 cargo flight from Shanghai will land in Rome Fiumicino airport tonight at 9.45 pm, with over 3.5 million of protective face masks stowed. The medical equipment will be sorted in the next few hours by the Italian Department of Civil Protection and sent to the areas most affected by the Covid-19 emergency.
This is the first of a series of non-stop cargo flights from China, and was operated with an Alitalia’s Boeing 777-300ER, the aircraft with the largest cargo capacity among the Airline’s fleet. Two complete crews were on board the aircraft and, in accordance with the provisions of the Italian Civil Aviation Authority on the flight duty period, they alternated service without the need of an overnight rest in Shanghai, in order to respect the restrictions put in force by the Chinese Authorities that impose the quarantine for travelers arriving from Italy.
In coordination with the Crisis Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alitalia continues to organize special flights in order to repatriate Italian citizens still stranded abroad. An Alitalia’s Boeing 777-200ER is leaving today for India and will return to Italy tomorrow morning, 27 March, at 7.45 am carrying about 300 Italian citizens. Another aircraft, an Airbus 330, will take off today in order to retrieve 250 passengers, disembarked from a cruise in Miami, who will arrive at Rome Fiumicino airport on the early morning of Saturday 28 March.
Alitalia has also extended special flights from Madrid to Rome until tomorrow 27 March, in order to continue to repatriate as many Italian citizens still stuck in Spain as possible. Another special flight from Budapest (Hungary) has been organized for Saturday 28 March and in the next few hours tickets for this special air service will be available on alitalia.com website.
Alitalia carried between 15 and 25 March a total of 60,000 passengers, 90 per cent of them on flights returning to Italy from abroad. In these ten days, 15,000 travelers have been able to come back to Italy thanks to the 140 special flights operated by Alitalia in coordination with the Crisis Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.