Boeing Dreamlifter Transports 500,000 Protective Face Masks for Utah Students and Teachers

Pete CodellaNews

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today completed its 12th COVID-19 transport mission, using a Boeing Dreamlifter to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) to the United States. Working in partnership with the state of Utah, Atlas Air Worldwide, H.M. Cole, Cotopaxi, Flexport and UPS, the company transported 500,000 protective face masks bound for students and teachers across Utah returning to classrooms this fall. As part of its “A Mask for Every Utahn” initiative, the state of Utah will distribute the face masks free of charge to school districts across the state with the greatest need.

“As students return to school this fall, it will be important that they have masks available,” said Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “We thank Boeing and these partners for everything they’ve done to support our ‘A Mask for Every Utahn’ initiative and make it possible for our students to have these masks and help keep Utahns safe.”

As part of this mission, H.M. Cole, a custom clothing store, donated 250,000 masks, with 100,000 of those masks sized for children. Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand based in Salt Lake City, donated an additional 250,000 masks and converted one of its jacket manufacturers for temporary face mask production. Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport into Utah, with Atlas Air operating the flight on behalf of Boeing. Flexport and UPS helped coordinate customs assistance for the PPE shipment.

“As a Benefit Corporation, we’re believers that businesses have a duty to utilize their influence and resources to impact the world positively,” said Davis Smith, Cotopaxi Founder & CEO. “We are proud to partner with the state of Utah and Boeing to help our hometown community as we fight this pandemic. Face masks are one of the key tools the public has to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and we’re thrilled that our efforts can help teachers and students safely get back in the classroom.” 

Like previous airlift missions facilitated by Boeing, the Dreamlifter — a converted Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter — flew the mission with the face masks stored in the lower lobe of the airplane. Following the July 1, 2020, delivery in Salt Lake City, the Dreamlifter will return to its home base in North Charleston, South Carolina, for a 787 components delivery in support of the global aerospace supply chain.

“Boeing is proud to continue to use our resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said David Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO. “Today’s delivery, our 12th COVID-19 response airlift mission, expands our support of essential workers to include teachers and their students across the state of Utah, so they have the protective tools they need to safely and confidently return to their classrooms.”

To date, Boeing has helped transport more than four million PPE units — including the in-house production of more than 39,000 3D-printed face shields — to frontline health care professionals and communities in need.

About “A Mask for Every Utahn”

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development was assigned management of the “A Mask for Every Utahn” initiative. Its Deputy Director, Ben Hart, has taken the lead for the state to get free, reusable cloth masks to Utahns. The program has been very successful in increasing awareness about the importance of wearing masks and getting masks to those who need them. To date, the #MaskUtah initiative has received orders from 272,156 households that have requested 1,161,049 masks.

1.25 million of these masks are being made in Utah by Utah manufacturers. This effort has saved or created 300 jobs in the state, according to the Utah Manufacturers Association, the primary manufacturing partner in the state’s initiative.

Masks may be requested, free of charge and up to six per address, at