Volga-Dnepr Airlines delivers urgent mobile ICU units from Maastricht to the Caribbean island of St Maarten

Volga-Dnepr Il-76 landing at St-Maarten

In response to the global COVID-19 Health Pandemic, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has recently delivered oversized urgent medical supplies to the remote Dutch Caribbean islands of St Maarten and St Eustatius.

The call to action was spurred by the needs of the Ministry of Health, Culture and Sport, Netherlands, to assist with the supply of medical infrastructure to the Dutch Caribbean.

Flown on behalf of mobile hospital manufacturer Hospitainer, the programme of four charter flights utilised two IL76-TD-90VD aircraft departing over a period of one week.

Loading from Maastricht, Netherlands, the flights landed over the famous Maho Beach at St Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport, which is world-renowned for its low-altitude beach approach and fly past.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines delivered 2 x 40ft medical ICU units which were received by the St Maarten medical centre, and 6 x 20ft medical ICU units which were on-carried by local barge to the smaller St Eustatius.

In addition to mobile hospitals, Volga-Dnepr Airlines also assisted to transport equipment for diagnostics, together with ventilator machines, medicine and essential PPE equipment from other suppliers to the Dutch authorities.

Stuart Smith, Humanitarian director for the Volga-Dnepr Group, helped to coordinate the project, and commented that “Due to our diverse aircraft, our Group is able to offer support to organisations and companies who need to fly urgent containerised and pre-fabricated health systems. Our unparalleled fleet combined with the can-do attitude of our load-planning team means that we are often asked to assist with missions which would otherwise be impossible by air cargo”.

The unique capabilities of Volga-Dnepr’s IL76-TD-90VD aircraft, allow supply chains to remain open to all global communities. In collaboration with Hospitainer and their mobile units, even the most isolated populations can still have access to critical project cargo, reinforcing local infrastructure, and supporting local prevention against the widespread pandemic.

Hospitainer CEO, Rolof Mulder, said that “We work from the assumption that access to a doctor, dentist or midwife should not be a privilege – healthcare should be accessible to all. We are aware that so many people around the world do not have these facilities on hand. Therefore, we hope we can help to provide health care where it is really needed.  We always have stock and it is our mission to act quickly and with passion in our work.”

Volga-Dnepr Group has a long history in emergency and humanitarian response and is currently playing a major role in the international air cargo effort against COVID-19. To date, tens of thousands of cubic metres of medical equipment and supplies have been transported to over 25 nations worldwide by the Group’s airlines.

Ekaterina Andreeva, Commercial Director Charter Cargo Operations, remarked that “It takes a lot of pre-planning to deliver cargo to remote airports, especially in the current aviation environment where there are challenging limitations. However, due to our 30 years of air charter operations, we can ensure that all international communities can stay connected to the lifelines that air cargo supply chains can provide.”


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