Volunteers from Air Charter Services’ Surbiton headquarters were eager to help unload two flights carrying Covid-19 test kits just before Christmas.

ACS had arranged two preighter flights from Shenzhen to Birmingham Airport but the ground handler did not have the manpower to unload the flights and turn them around within the schedule.

Dan Morgan-Evans, Group Cargo Director sent out a message to everyone in the headquarters asking for volunteers to head up to Birmingham and says he was staggered by the response.

He says: “We had volunteers from our marketing, accounts, legal, IT and HR teams, all willing to get up early and to travel to Birmingham to do their bit in keeping this essential cargo coming into the country.”

The first flight, a Boeing 787-9, arrived shortly before lunchtime and was completely unloaded in just over an hour in time for the second aircraft, an Airbus A330, which landed mid-afternoon.

Morgan-Evans says: “Again the handling agent and ACS staff worked well together and the offload went very smoothly, but obviously took a lot longer. The aircraft departed later that evening for its next operation.”

He adds: “I was so proud to see everyone pull together to get the job done. These are exceptional times and people recognised the significance of what we were doing and dropped their day job to get their hands dirty.”

A video of the operation can be viewed here.