Colombian air carrier Viva Air has been making humanitarian flights within Colombia to deliver food and school supplies during the Coronavirus COVID 19 Pandemic to the La Guajira Peninsula of Colombia, a region that was already famine stricken before the pandemic arrived in Colombia.
Because the airline is not carrying passengers during the national curfew, it has taken the unusual step of utilizing the aircraft passenger cabins to increase the capacity per flight. This way, the airline will be able to transport, depending upon the route, more than 20 tons per flight distributed in the cargo hold or ‘belly’ of the plane (8,438 kg), in the utility compartment (1,360 kg), in the passenger chairs (10,090 kg) and under seats(972 kg).
“Challenging moments bring innovative ideas and at Viva we reinvent ourselves and find opportunities in changing times, such as the one we are experiencing today due to Covid-19. For this reason, thanks to the joint work of different areas of our company and the permits that Civil Aviation and Airbus, the manufacturer of our aircraft, have granted us, we can operate this type of flight that contributes to society and, in turn, make possible our purpose to continue connecting the country with various causes and in different ways,” said Félix Antelo, CEO of Viva Air Group.
The first flight operated this wqay took place last Monday flying from Bogotá to Riohacha, Colombia, which transported 15 tons of food and 576 school kits to La Guajira and 576 school kits that weighed approximately 3.5 tons, additional. This initiative was led by the Viva Air Foundation in alliance with the Colombian Ministry of Education, the International Organization for Migration and ABACO, the Association of Food Banks of Colombia.
“We remain committed to the country and stand in solidarity with the causes that they contribute to society. Within the framework of this great invention, we have led this indispensable work for the most vulnerable communities in Colombia,”said Mónica Gil of the Viva Air Foundation.