British Airways says it is joining the response against Covid-19 with a company-wide taskforce who will bring their skills and expertise to communities across the UK to help the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
In a statement, the airline said the current reduction in the number of flights meant it was in the position of having thousands of cabin and flight crew with more time available and an appetite to volunteer.
“Their advanced first aid qualifications, combined with their natural passion for looking after people, means that they can bring both technical training and natural kindness to a range of desperately needed roles for a range of organisations, including the NHS,” the airline stated on Friday.
Other teams in the airline specialise in the logistics that sit behind getting 800 flights a day to 200 destinations around the world and those skills can also benefit the community-at-large.
Louise Evans, British Airways’ director, External Communications and Sustainability, said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to our request for volunteers from across British Airways to help in the community fight against coronavirus.
“We’re part of the fabric of Britain and we want to play our role in these unprecedented times. Thanks to the nature of our business, we can contribute a unique set of skills from advanced first aid training, to experience caring for and reassuring people to managing complex logistics – all of which can deliver real care within the community.”
The airline has been in talks with a number of organisations in order to deploy its volunteers most usefully. These include the NHS via their Helpforce team, which organises volunteers for the NHS and could involve working at the Nightingale hospitals being set up in London, Manchester and Birmingham as well as transporting patients and NHS workers.
“British Airways is also pairing volunteers who have first aid training and clinical skills with St John Ambulance to support their emergency response units within the community. Similarly, members from that same highly skilled crew community can apply to volunteer with the London Ambulance Service to take 999 or 111 calls, triaging the caller and placing them in a clinical queue to speak to a qualified medical professional,” the airline said.
The airline also has ongoing relationships with a number of food bank providers, including The Trussell Trust where volunteering duties for staff could include sorting and packing food donations, collecting supplies from supermarkets and delivering food to people in greatest need.