Overall, the taxpayer spent more than £70m paying airlines to courier PPE.
Major airlines were paid over £200,000 per flight to provide Britain with crucial PPE at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to invoice data published by the Government.
British Airways was paid around £240,000 per flight by the UK Government, the data showed, while rival airline Virgin Atlantic were paid around £190,000 per journey.
Contracts for the flights were awarded outside of the usual tendering process “because of public health risks presenting a genuine emergency”, according to the documentation, and to prevent Britain being outbid for lateral flow tests by other countries if it was left too late.
According to sources involved in the procurement process, the Government was concerned about its reliance on major airlines to courier PPE given high costs compared to alternative methods.
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Source: The Telegraph