DUBAI — Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates will begin shipping aid from the World Health Organization and other groups into India for free to help fight a crushing outbreak of the coronavirus, the airline said Sunday.
The offer by Emirates, which has 95 flights weekly to nine cities in India, initially involves aid already in Dubai but may expand across the carrier’s network as time goes on. That could mean major savings for aid groups as airfreight costs have skyrocketed amid the pandemic. Demand for flown cargo stands at record levels worldwide.
Emirates made the announcement at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, already home to a WHO warehouse that’s been crucial to the distribution of medical gear worldwide.
A WHO worker on a forklift moved boxes of tents made in Pakistan and rolls of net shades from South Korea preparing for the initial flight planned for next Thursday. That will be used to construct field hospitals for India’s overwhelmed health care system.