Video: Alaska Airlines rushes mask materials to healthcare workers treating COVID-19

Photos by Ingrid Barrentine | Video by Ken Boyer

Healthcare workers around the country are in need of masks, gloves and other protective equipment now more than ever.

On Wednesday, Alaska Airlines transported materials that will be used to create 210,000 hospital-grade masks for caregivers at Providence’s 51 hospitals across the western United States.

Alaska’s flights carrying this cargo originated in Seattle and landed in Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, where the masks will be assembled. They will then be distributed to Providence hospitals throughout Alaska, California, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Washington state.

The masks will be created by skilled craftspeople from Kaas Tailored, a furniture manufacturer in Mukilteo, Washington, which stepped in to produce the much-needed supplies. They also developed PPE design specifications to share with other manufacturers.

“For years, Alaska Airlines has helped us fly doctors, nurses and other medical personnel up and down the West Coast. Now more than ever, it’s mission critical to get protective equipment to caregivers, who are caring for millions of people in the communities we serve,” said Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, chief clinical officer for Providence. “We are heartened by all the great companies stepping up to the 100 Million Mask Challenge and hope more will join our efforts to protect our country’s caregivers.”

During this time of uncertainty, air travel continues to be an essential service. Alaska Airlines remains committed to helping medical professionals and lifesaving supplies get to the places where they are needed most.

“Every day, we carry essentials such as food, mail and lifesaving items, including crucial medication and medical equipment,” said Rick Bendix, Alaska Air Cargo spokesperson. “Across our network we’re packing our freighters and maximizing cargo in the belly of passenger aircraft to deliver essential goods to our customers throughout our expansive network.”