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Coronavirus air corridor from China to Spain closing down

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By Daniel Bellamy
Air crew at Madrid airport unloading coronavirus aid from Shanghai
Air crew at Madrid airport unloading coronavirus aid from Shanghai   -   Copyright  Euronews

One of the last medical supply flights from Shanghai arrived in Madrid on Friday, stacked full of protective equipment.

An air corridor has been operating since the end of March when the outbreak in Spain was worsening.

Spanish carrier Iberia has been working with a logistics company and a medical federation to keep the supplies rolling in.

It's not just masks, but protective suits, the essential components to build ventilators and even specialised parts for hospital beds.

About three flights have been coming in every week but they're passenger jets, not cargo planes, so many of the boxes the aid is in are designed to slot into passenger seats.

Usually, four captains and four co-pilots spend almost thirty hours on board the plane, the time it takes to fly to Shanghai, load up and fly back again.

The crews now have to return to their temporary lay-off as the coronavirus hits the aviation sector.

Iberia has also been flying medical supplies to South America, including in Brazil, which is South America's worst-hit country.