Flying cargo instead of passengers

Aviation Updates Philippines – Philippine Airlines on Friday operated a one-off flight to Xiamen from Manila to pick-up tons of medical supplies and essential cargo to aid in the government's efforts to quash the COVID-19 pandemic.
CARGO-ONLY FLIGHTS. PAL cargo crew load tons of cargo at the Xiamen station for the Philippines. Photo from Philippine Airlines.
PAL flight PR-330, an Airbus A330-343 with registry RP-C8760, departed from Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 2:19 pm local time. The aircraft eventually arrived in Xiamen at 4:10 pm local time. 

After two painstaking hours of loading cargo, flight PR-331 departed to the Philippines at 6:28 pm local time and arrived back in Manila at 8:26 pm local time.

The flag carrier said the cargo-only Airbus A330 flight carried 21,573 kilograms in its cargo hold while it flew another 3,350 kilograms of medical goods spread across the cabin. In total, PAL transported nearly 25,000 kilograms of cargo in a single flight.

"The shipment is intended for various pharmaceutical companies in the country. The undertaking comes at a time when demand for face-masks has reached an all-time high in view of the COVID-19 crisis," PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said in a Facebook post.

On the same post, Villaluna commended the flight crew and ground operations teams in Xiamen and Manila: "To our pilots on this all-cargo flight and to all flight deck teams on other journeys, thank you for transporting the essential goods so these may reach those who need them most."

Since the suspension of passenger air services in the Philippines, PAL has continued to operate cargo-only flights to crucial domestic and international points—Cebu, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, General Santos, Ho Chi Minh City, among others.