Flights carrying supplies to aid the fight against Covid-19 help drive record volumes for Leipzig/Halle Airport.
The Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) plans to establish a new civil protection logistics centre at Leipzig. The German Red Cross will be setting up the site not far from Leipzig/Halle airport.
The EU and its member states have been setting up these logistics centres for some time. As well as being used to procure, store and maintain protective equipment, the centres can also act as a base for organising the distribution logistics.
Alongside its regular passenger and freight traffic, Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) already serves as a hub for medical relief supplies and protective equipment. In the first half of 2021, in addition to regular air traffic, some 70 cargo charter flights were handled, carrying millions of Covid-19 tests and PPE.
At the end of last week, two further relief planes took off from the airport, destined for Windhoek, Namibia. On board the Antonov 124 aircraft were urgently needed medical supplies, including masks and ventilators, for this South African country that has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, the German government has supplied more than 600 pallets of relief cargo, which has been flown to the area by Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines. The operation was commissioned by ECHO.
Earlier this year, Volga-Dnepr Group and Leipzig/Halle Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim to strengthen Humanitarian Hub at the airport.
“Not only do these flights demonstrate our commitment toward the humanitarian sector, but also come as a logical step for further development of long-lasting strategic cooperation between LEJ and Volga-Dnepr Group,“ said Yulia Celetaria, the Global Healthcare Director for the Volga-Dnepr Group.
“Our recent flights to Namibia, organised in cooperation with our customer Maersk, is one of the roadmap’s steps. Our flights to Namibia come in the same week as we transport firefighting equipment to Greece and vaccine production machinery to India, which shows our readiness to support aid and relief sector.”
Freight volumes at Leipzig/Halle Airport, Europe’s fourth-largest air cargo hub, are continuing to grow. During the first seven months of this year, the volume increased by 18.9% compared with the The airport handled more than 1.38 million tonnes of freight last year, setting a new record.