Delta Air Lines will donate cargo space onboard 13 international flights to the U.S. federal government as part of President Biden’s Operation Fly Formula. The airline will lift 3.2 million bottles worth of British-made infant formula from London to the United States for free to help the White House alleviate a baby formula shortage.
The shipments will take place between June 20 and June 24 from Heathrow Airport in West London to Boston Logan and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airports.
Delta will be transporting 212,000 pounds of baby formula produced by the British Kendamil brand. The company isn’t normally allowed to import infant formula to the U.S. but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is exercising enforcement discretion to allow Kendamil export at least two million cans of formula.
Kendamil Organic and Classic formula will be shipped aboard Delta aircraft and will then be made available at select Target retail stores and online.
“Delivering baby formula to those who need it most as part of Operation Fly Formula is one way we can live out a deeply ingrained core value at Delta: a commitment to serving the health and well-being of our communities,” commented Delta’s vice president of cargo operations, Rob Walpole.
Walpole says the airline is ready and willing to support additional shipments of baby formula should the Biden administration make a request.
On Thursday, United Airlines transported the first batch of 3.7 million bottles worth of Kendamil formula from London to the U.S. as part of Operation Fly Formula. The flight landed at Washington Dulles where the formula was taken to retail stores.
United will be transporting 300,000 pounds of baby formula over the next three weeks after becoming the first commercial airline to donate cargo space to the Department of Health and Human Services for free.
Operation Fly Formula was launched to cut red tape and speed up the import of foreign-produced baby formula after major U.S. manufacturer Abbott was forced to issue a massive recall and shut down one of the main production plants in the U.S. following an FDA inspection.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.