ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — A cargo plane carrying 80-100 tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) landed at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport from China late Friday morning.
GEODIS, a global supply chain operator chartered the aircraft on behalf of an unnamed client. On board the Antonov AN-124 cargo plane, was 13 million masks. It was referenced as being the largest delivery of masks to the airport since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
A spokesperson for GEODIS told CBS46 they had been asked to keep their client’s name private, but released the following statement:
“GEODIS, a global supply chain leader, chartered the aircraft on behalf of a client who purchased the masks from an independent PPE manufacturer based in China. That manufacturer has been certified by the U.S. government. The masks will be used to protect the client’s workforce here in the U.S.”
When asked why their client chose to purchase the masks from an independent manufacturer in China, and not one here in the U.S. the spokesperson said “They [GEODIS] was not involved in the decision to purchase the masks, just involved in transporting and they were asked to keep the name of the company who bought the masks private.”
No further information was given as to who would be getting the masks, or where they would be delivered, but an employee with the Alliance Ground International, which provides airline cargo handling services for ATL and 12 other airports around the country, noted that the masks would be delivered to various “municipalities within Metro Atlanta.”
The AN-124 is the second largest cargo aircraft in the world, which requires significant logistical preparation.
The PPE on board weighed in at approximately 80-100 tons, all of which had to be unloaded, put on trailers and delivered.
Alliance Ground International, along with airport support staff were tasked with that part of the operation.
The airport indicated that while passenger travel is down during COVID-19, cargo travel is up. Large deliveries like today’s, keep many people employed, that might otherwise not have work, according to airport officials on site.
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