COVID-19: Chinese airline partners support KLM
SINGAPORE, March 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- KLM works with three Chinese airline partners: China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. These partners have now stepped in to generously support KLM and the Netherlands by donating many tens of thousands of face masks and gloves to KLM in our struggle against the coronavirus outbreak. In light of scarce resources at Dutch hospitals, KLM will in turn be helping the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and other Dutch healthcare institutes.
Today, in the early hours of the morning, the first shipment arrived at Schiphol carried by one of Xiamen Airlines' aircraft. On behalf of the employees of the three Chinese airlines, KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers accepted this first shipment of in total around 90,000 face masks and 50,000 pairs of gloves. KLM's CEO was accompanied by Ernst Kuipers, Chairman of the Boards of Erasmus MC and the Dutch Network for Acute Medical Care (Landelijk Netwerk Acute Zorg -- LNAZ), and Brinio Veldhuijzen van Zanten of KLM Health Services.
Over the past 20 years, KLM has established a broad-based route network, coupled with especially close relations in China. Before the outbreak of the corona crisis, KLM and its partners operated 59 flights a week from Schiphol to mainland China. Shipments of this nature serve to underscore the enormous significance of connections by air in general, and those with China in particular. Medical supplies like this can only be transported swiftly and efficiently to the other side of the world by aircraft. This is especially important in times of scarcity and interdependence.
KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers highlighted that: "Help of this nature from our Chinese partners China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines is both incredibly generous and much appreciated. Help like this from our Chinese friends serves to highlight just how close the ties are between China, the Netherlands and KLM. These are incredibly difficult times for our country and our company, so we are very pleased with this support for KLM and for the Netherlands. Less than two months ago, we at KLM made a donation to China and now we have received fantastic and generous help ourselves. This certainly feels good."
On behalf of all Dutch healthcare institutes, LNAZ is coordinating the stocks of personal protective gear for healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ernst Kuipers, CEO Erasmus MC thanked KLM and said, "This donation will help all Dutch healthcare institutes at a critical phase of caring for patients across the Netherlands. We are also incredibly grateful to KLM's Chinese partners for this."