Lufthansa is airlifting fruit and vegetables to the United Kingdom as several firms are looking into other solutions for the current lorry chaos at sea and rail ports.
Today (23 December) at noon, Lufthansa deployed a Boeing 777 Cargo (registered D-ALFH) on flight LH8352 from Frankfurt Airport, Germany, to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, United Kingdom, carrying 80 tonnes of food for grocers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Coop and Aldi.
This morning, Aviation24.be wrote that more than two thousand lorries are stranded on the tarmac of Manston Airport, a closed airport near Ramsgate as the Brexit contingency plan “Operation Fennel” was activated early to cope with lorries waiting to depart the United Kingdom after France closed its borders to accompanied freight arriving from the United Kingdom due to the rapid spread of a new coronavirus strain.
Air, road, rail and sea traffic between the two countries is resuming, French minister of Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari this morning announced on Twitter. Despite the planned quick test for truckers, there are concerns that testing drivers for Covid-19 will continue to delay food supplies.
“Lufthansa Cargo is currently examining whether additional special cargo flight can be offered during the next days, we are also checking if a regular flight might be possible. This could be with a freighter, but we are also examining if we could use passenger aircraft for freight flights only,” Lufthansa Cargo spokeswoman Jacqueline Casini told Aviation24.be.
Some firms have been chartering private aircraft to move goods such as food, textiles and livestock as the Port of Dover and the Eurotunnel closed.
The United Kingdom imports nearly half of its fresh vegetables and the majority of its fruit, both mainly from the European mainland.