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China Daily / 2020-03 / 26 / Page012

Dedicated staff pull together to fight against coronavirus outbreak

By Yin Ruowei | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-26 00:00

As medical workers were busy fighting the novel coronavirus on the front line in Wuhan, Hubei province, China Eastern Airlines' pilots and crew members were in the air and racing against the clock to ensure medical workers and equipment were available as soon as possible.

Emergency transport plays a key role in supporting disease prevention and control, said a CEA executive.

On Jan 28, during the Lunar New Year holiday, CEA captain Liu Mingfu received an urgent phone call asking him if he could fly 148 medical workers and equipment to Wuhan.

Liu agreed and rushed to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in just five minutes to where the charter flight would depart.

Fifteen minutes later, the whole team and flight crew had been assembled.

Such a speed was enabled by CEA opening a special green channel.

"It was the first time I had flown to Wuhan since the epidemic prevention and control began and I'm proud I could play my part," Liu said.

CEA's entire staff have pulled together during the crisis to ensure people in need are cared for as quickly as possible, the company said.

Li Xiaoxi and Yu Jingyan, female CEA pilots, have also flown charter flights to Wuhan delivering medics, equipment and supplies.

Peng Yunyi, a young flight attendant, and her father, who also works in the company, have been working together, putting in extra hours during this period.

In addition to Chinese employees, expats in CEA are also working hard to fight the virus.

Diego, a CEA pilot originally from Italy, has flown flights from Wuhan to Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu in Sichuan province since Jan 21. Having been moved by his workmates' commitment to battling the disease, he sent a long message to them via WeChat: "In this hard period, my heart is now full of good feelings.

"I am full of admiration for my colleagues, for the leaders, for the company, for the Chinese society and population."

He added that "with people caring for others, we will always overcome adversity".

Massias Franz, a French flight attendant who has worked for CEA for three years, has been trained to serve sick or possibly infected passengers and to quarantine them.

He said he felt safe at work, because before departure all staff members carry out temperature checks, and when on board face masks and gloves are worn.

"I have deep feelings toward Wuhan and have some close friends there," said Franz, who was previously a diplomatic worker at the French consulate-general in Wuhan.

"I hope the epidemic will end soon and I want people safe and sound." Despite many carriers stopping international flights from China, CEA is still operating in and out of the country.




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