Air China to dispatch five charter flights a day to rescue Chinese citizens stranded in Crete
2011-02-28

Air China to dispatch five charter flights a day from February 28 to rush between Beijing and Crete
Another two Boeing 777 aircrafts took off from Beijing Capital International Airport on February 27

Directed by Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang to ˇ°go all out to evacuate our citizens as soon as possibleˇ±, Air China followed the deployment of CAAC in the evening of the February 26 to increase flight density after the company determined in the afternoon of the same day to shoulder large-scale charter mission to take back Chinese compatriots stranded in Libya. Between February 28 and March 10, Air China will dispatch a total of five charter flights a day made up of Boeing 777 and 747 models to fly to Crete. Combined with three charter flights already starting task execution from February 23, Air China expects to pick up a total of nearly 12,000 people stranded. At 13:03 and 13:27 on February 27, another two Boeing 777 charter flights of Air China took off from Beijing Capital International Airport to go to Crete.
In the evening of February 26, Air China President Cai Jianjiang hosted an emergent meeting to implement the direction of Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang and CAAC deployment. Specialized working groups made up of principals from operation, flight, commerce, maintenance, cabin, ground service and other departments were ready in place rapidly. After a comprehensively evaluation of route characteristics and model allocation, Air China dispatched two Boeing 777 aircrafts for the task on February 27 in the first instance, and will maintain high-density flight every day operated by five charter flights from February 28. The operational department accurately calculates fuel loads and cargo plan. Luggage will be weighed strictly to ensure to transport passengers to the maximum and most efficiently. In addition to flight, maintenance, crew and security personnel, loading and check-in personnel are specially selected to go together with the flights to assist in local check-in procedures so as to expedite loading in Crete. They will also set up working groups there simultaneously, which will not only protect the charter flights of Air China but also provide assistance in protecting charter flights operated by other airlines to pick up stranded Chinese compatriots in Libya.
Being a military airport, Crete Airport is with complex weather conditions and topography. To ensure safety, Air China strengthens cabin power and makes good plans. In the large-scale concentrated charter flights mission, Air China pays more attention to cabin service process and reflects human care: broadcasting in cabin is warm; meals are sufficient and diversified, including mixed congee, bean paste dumpling, beef sausage, salted duck egg, brined vegetables, chocolate, and whole fruit. Doubled disinfectant wet wipes and small towels are prepared for tired passengers.
It is understood that starting from February 23, Air China has dispatched five charter flights to pick up compatriots stranded in Libya, of which the first took back 223 passengers from Tripoli, the second took back 227 passengers from Cairo, the third landed at Beijing Capital International Airport at 8:20 on February 27 and took back 328 passengers from Crete, the fourth and the fifth are on the fly. In view of the systematic operation carried out by Air China currently, the capacity adjustment of a flight may affect the allocation, deployment and operation protection of dozens of flights to follow up. Air China said they will try to make reasonable arrangements and they thank the passengers for their understanding and support.