JetBlue, United Airlines agree to fly volunteer medical workers to New York for free

, , Comentarios desactivados en JetBlue, United Airlines agree to fly volunteer medical workers to New York for free



JetBlue and United Airlines have agreed to fly medical volunteers to New York City and back again, free of charge.

Mayor de Blasio on Friday announced a partnership with the airlines to provide round-trip flights to personnel coming to help fight COVID-19 in the country’s epicenter for the outbreak.

“Our healthcare workers are heroes, and right now they need reinforcements to save as many lives as they can,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “I am calling on medical professionals from across the country to come to New York City and help us win this fight.”

JetBlue, headquartered in Queens, has already flown more than 50 healthcare workers to the city, according to the mayor’s office. The de Blasio administration expects that number to increase in the coming weeks as more medical workers receive New York City work assignments.

“As New York’s hometown airline, we are honored to be able to help right in our own backyard. We are honored to provide critical travel needs for medical professionals and first responders,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and COO at JetBlue, in a statement.

New York hospitals have been gravely overwhelmed by the rapid spread of COVID-19, with both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio warning of dire shortages of personal safety gear, medical equipment and qualified staff.

De Blasio said earlier Friday the city would need additional 45,000 healthcare workers to fight the coronavirus in the coming days and weeks ahead.

“If we’re gonna save every life we can save, we need the supplies, the equipment, the PPE,” he said during a press briefing. “We need more than ever the personnel, the people, the doctors, the nurses that will help us through this fight.

The airlines are coordinating the flights with the city’s Emergency Management office and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.