Irish flight to collect Covid-19 supplies in China resumes journey

Aer Lingus flight EI9018 from Dublin to Beijing forced to return after a bird strike

An Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to China to collect medical supplies for coronavirus, resumed its journey on Monday evening having earlier returned due to a bird strike.

Flight EI9018 to Beijing departed Dublin Airport at about 5.15pm, according to online tracker Flightradar. It was expected to arrive in China after 9am local time, or in the early hours of Tuesday morning Irish Times.

The flight had returned to Dublin on Monday afternoon following a bird strike, a spokeswoman for Aer Lingus said.The plane was to be inspected by engineers on landing.

The flight is due to collect medical supplies needed for health workers treating Covid-19 patients.

The Chinese Ambassador in Ireland, He Xiangdong, said he and his staff at the embassy are helping to organise the millions of euro worth of protective equipment for healthcare workers in Ireland.

The first of dozens of flights from China carrying consignments of personal protective equipment (PPE) landed in Dublin on Sunday. Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, Mr He said: “We are helping to co-ordinate between the HSE procurement department and China and we also help to arrange the landing slot for the chartered flight of Aer Lingus.

“The airports in Beijing and Shanghai are terribly busy with all the cargo flights from abroad. “I think the supply chain in China is under huge pressure. We will do our best for all the world.

“We are the largest supplier of PPE in the world. It means hard work from all the suppliers in the world. “I think the HSE procurement department is working closely with the supplier in China. We will try and do our best together to make sure all the PPE will abide by the standards.”

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times