British Airways 777 aircraft containing crucial medical supplies for the NHS is on route to the\u00a0UK, due to land later this afternoon \tCargo shipped in a joint effort between British Airways, IAG Cargo, the UK Government and the British Embassy in Beijing \tSeparate shipment of hand sanitiser being flown in over the coming days A British Airways aircraft loaded with vital medical supplies from China is on its way back to London Heathrow. Captain Robert Kendall is heading a team of flight crew operating the British Airways Boeing 777 which is loaded with ventilators as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) including goggles, face guards and gowns. The flight was operated in partnership with the UK Government and IAG Cargo. The British Embassy is working with the Department of Health to procure medical equipment from China and deliver it to NHS hospitals all over the UK. The flight departed from Shanghai at 11 am local time on 9 April and is due to touch down at Heathrow later this afternoon. Today\u2019s flight was the first of several British Airways flights containing medical equipment and supplies coming into the UK from China. Over the coming days, 55 tonnes of hand sanitiser \u2013 equivalent to around 62,000 large bottles \u2013 will arrive in the UK on a similar flight from Shanghai. Minister of State for Asia, Nigel Adams said: \u201cI am delighted that we have been able to reopen the British Airways route from Shanghai to deliver lifesaving equipment that we have bought for the NHS. \u201cWe have been working round the clock to bolster the NHS supplies and save lives and we are seeking further deliveries as a matter of urgency.\u201d Alex Cruz, British Airways\u2019 Chairman and Chief Executive, said: \u201cWe are doing all we can to support the global response to Covid-19, whether it\u2019s flying important medical supplies in to the UK or helping to bring Britons home. We will continue to use all available resources to support the Government, the NHS and communities all over the world who might be in need of our help.\u201d The flight was made possible after the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) gave permission to reopen British Airways\u2019 regular Shanghai to Heathrow passenger route for cargo use. British Airways works with its sister company, IAG Cargo to fly supplies around the world. Since March, IAG Cargo and airlines within International Airlines Group (IAG) including Aer Lingus and Iberia have been instrumental in bringing medical supplies to Europe to help in the fight against the impact of the Covid-19.