AN-124 in Czech

On 31 March, at 17.35 local time, an AN-124 landed in Pardubice Airport carrying tons of medical supplies that the Czech government will use to fight COVID-19.

Unloading cargo at Pardubice airport (Credits: Czech Ministry of Defence)

This is the third flight arranged by the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS in support to Czech Republic. In total, SALIS airlifted 106 tons of medical supplies from China to the Czech Republic.

This flight followed a similar itinerary than the previous ones, taking off from Leipzig/Halle airport, SALIS Operating Base, and arriving to Shenzhen Airport, in southeaster China on the following day. On 31 March 2020, the plane landed in the city of Pardubice, where the equipment was unloaded and transported to the warehouse of the Ministry of the Interior in Opočínek.

Precautionary measures were put in place to ensure the safety of the crew during the operation.

The Czech Republic has been a member of the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) since its beginning in 2006. SALIS provides participating nations with a strategic air transport capability. Nine NATO Allies (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) currently participate in the programme, managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).

Through SALIS, nations obtain assured access of up to five AN-124 aircraft within few days. In addition, the current contract with Antonov Logistics SALIS also provides access to AN-22, AN-225 and IL-76 Chap IV aircraft.