MAB Kargo (MASkargo) has been working around the clock to ensure that Malaysians will have access to much-needed medical equipment and supplies as COVID-19 virus infections deepen in the country.
The MASkargo team has been working very closely with the National Disaster Agency of Malaysia (NAOMA), the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), on flight plans and cargo space management of the medical goods being flown into the country, mostly from China.
The initial movement started in February with the freighters flying the Malaysian Government’s contribution for the Chinese Government during the height of the situation in China.
Today, the situation has reversed, and the freighters are flying out of China with tonnes of medical supplies including masks, goggles, surgical gowns and ventilators for Malaysia.
MASkargo chief executive officer, Ibrahim Mohamed Salleh says: “We have changed our freighter schedules to manage these high priority cargo movements. There were difficulties due to airport restrictions, but with cooperation by both governments, the kinks were ironed out and our team has been working day and night to ensure that the medical equipment arrives safely in Malaysia.
“To address the capacity shortage, we are also looking at Passenger-to-Cargo (P2C) flights where Malaysia Airlines’ passenger aircraft are used to fly only cargo out of China,” he continues.
Last Wednesday saw the first flight carrying medical supplies from China via flight MH 389. On board the flight were 300,000 disposable masks, 50,000 protection suits and 8,000 protection suits with eye masks, courtesy of the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation.
Flight MH6171 arrived from Shanghai on Sunday morning carrying 24 pieces of ventilators and in the next few days, MASkargo will be flying in more than 10 million pieces of masks and ventilators from Shanghai (PVG) and Guangzhou (CAN).
This is made possible by the collaboration between NAOMA, MOT and Pharmaniaga Berhad, Malaysia’s largest listed integrated pharmaceutical group. Apart from flying medical goods, MASkargo has also provided free storage facilities for NAOMA’s goods prior to distribution at the cargo complex.
In Penang, the MASkargo team received praise for their hard work in uplifting and securing goods on board Austrian Airways’ passenger to cargo (P2C) humanitarian flight.
“It was definitely a new experience for our team as this is the first time that we had to load cargo/cartons on passenger seats,” says Ahmad Fahrni Awang, MASkargo’s Northern Region senior manager.
The total cargo for the flight was about 40 tonnes, of which 18 tonnes were in the form of 4,249 cartons secured on the seats in the economy class cabin.
The cartons were then secured with netting to ensure that the goods are not dislodged and damaged during flight,” says Awang.
“I am very proud of our team in Penang for accomplishing this feat, Salleh says. “The urgency of the situation has pushed everyone to think outside the box to make things happen. On that note we’d like to thank all donors and NGOs for their contributions which we are managing or flying in. The team at Malaysia Aviation Group is working hard for your well-being, so please stay at home for our well-being!”.