When they’re not trying to make ends meet, many airlines are doing their bit to help the world in these challenging times.
Air Canada is no exception: while Qantas and Virgin Australia led the way with status extensions (and now, repatriating Aussie citizens who find themselves in the wrong state), and while Emirates becomes the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests, Air Canada recently gutted three of their Boeing 777 jets to make more space for critical medical cargo and vital supplies.
Announcing the decision on Instagram on Sunday, the Canadian carrier wrote: “We’re transforming three of our #B777-300ERs to transport goods in the cabin. By removing 422 seats, we’re doubling the cargo capacity to help fly critical medical and vital supplies to and across Canada.”
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We’re transforming three of our #B777-300ERs to transport goods in the cabin. By removing 422 seats, we’re doubling the cargo capacity to help fly critical medical and vital supplies to and across Canada. . . Nous transformons trois de nos appareils 777-300ER pour y charger des envois en cabine. En retirant 422 sièges passagers, nous pouvons doubler leur capacité de fret et aider au transport aérien de fournitures médicales et essentielles à destination de tout le territoire canadien.
This received mostly positive feedback (“bravo,” “amazing” etc.) as well as a few cheeky quips: “How about when you do put the seats back in coach, you only put 9 abreast instead of 10?”).
The general sentiment, however, is well summed up in the following comment: “Wow. A crazy unimaginable sight but *applause emojis*.”
Canada currently has 29,919 confirmed cases of the virus, sitting well behind the US (672,931), but substantially above Australia (6,507). Worldwide, meanwhile, there have been 2,151,199 confirmed cases at the time of writing with 541,051 recoveries and 143,725 deaths.
Let’s hope the positive actions by companies in a position to make them continue.