The first of 11 El Al cargo planes delivering medical supplies from China landed at Ben-Gurion Airport early Monday morning.
A second flight was expected to land in Israel on Monday afternoon, while a third was on its way to China.
Eleven cargo planes would fly from China to Israel, bringing medical supplies such as ventilators, 900,000 protective masks, 500,000 protective suits for medical teams and other items needed to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, El Al said Sunday.
“I would like to thank all the partners from the Foreign Ministry, Health Ministry, the prime minister, Israel Chemicals and Mentfield Logistics who have worked hard to succeed in this operation,” said Avi Dadon, head of the Defense Ministry’s Procurement and Production Directorate. “We expect another 10 such aircraft to complete the procurement we have made to allow medical teams in Israel to do their job properly.”
The operation was organized by El Al, the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and Israel Chemicals.
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett thanked his ministry’s employees and El Al. “We sent them to the ends of the earth to get life-saving gear,” he said.
The Defense Ministry is working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to deal with “every mission and need,” Bennett said.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he instructed his ministry’s workers to use its missions around the world “to obtain medical equipment needed to deal with the coronavirus.”
It is a duty and a privilege to assure Israel will have ongoing air commerce with the world at this time, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin said.