- The New England Patriots donated the use of a team private jet to pick up over 1 million N95 supply maks in China.
- The championship-winning team owns two former American Airlines Boeing 767-300ERs used for team travel when playing away games or in the Super Bowl.
- Both planes were delivered to American in 1991 and were retired from service by the airline in early 2016 and delivered to the Patriots in 2017.
On Thursday morning, a Boeing 767-300ER arrived in Boston from Anchorage, Alaska, a technical stop on the way from Shenzhen, China.
Stuffed in the belly cargo hold were 1.2 million N95 masks bound for area hospitals to assist in the frontline effort against the rampaging novel coronavirus, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Cargo flights carrying much-needed medical supplies are not an uncommon sight at the nation’s airports, especially as the US sees thousands of new cases of COVID-19 every new. This particular plane, however, didn’t bear the name of UPS, FedEx, Amazon Air, or one of the major cargo carriers.
Rather, the side of the plane was emblazoned with “Patriots,” as in the New England Patriots, with all its team imagery.
In 2017, the Patriots took delivery of two Boeing 767-300ERs for use as team planes. One serves as the primary jet while the other one acts as a backup since the pair are both nearly 30 years old.
For the Patriots, purchasing the 767s, affectionately known as “AirKrafts” in reference to owner Bob Kraft, made a tremendous amount of sense. With airlines moving away from private charters in favour of more profitable passenger operations, professional sports teams have been scrambling to find large jets to get them to their away games.
Here’s a closer look at the Patriots’ Boeing 767-300ER AirKrafts.
Benjamin Zhang contributed to an earlier version of this article.
The planes have been the workhorses of the team since 2017 and make no effort to conceal their identity, proudly displaying the team name and covered nose to tail in the Patriots’ team colours.
Here’s the plane arriving in Atlanta for the Super Bowl game featuring the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams in 2019.
And here’s Tom Brady stepping off the jet.
It’s also decorated with the team’s logo.
And the team’s five Lombardi Trophies.
Though the team’s 2019 win in Atlanta, however, saw a new addition to the tail.
With a range of roughly 6,500 miles, the 767 will take the team just about anywhere it wants to go.
It didn’t, however, have the range to fly non-stop from Shenzhen to Boston with 1.2 million masks, requiring a fuel stop in Anchorage.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Both planes are actually based in Providence, Rhode Island, though the supplies were flown to Boston Logan International Airport.
Source: Wall Street Journal
The interior of the plane is customised with an all-business-class seating arrangement in a 2-2-2 configuration complete with extra legroom and in-flight entertainment screens.
Source: New England Patriots
The team did not disclose how much it spent to refurbish the interior accommodations of the aircraft.
One of the planes is officially owned by 2/25/94 LLC, FlightAware data shows. The date signifies when Robert Kraft purchased the team.
Each of the 27-year-old planes is worth around $US5.5 million on the open market, Flight Global’s metrics show, though the cost of operating and maintaining can quickly exceed that figure.
The two wide-body planes, now registered N36NE and N225NE, were both delivered to American Airlines in 1991 and retired in early 2016, according to AirFleets.net
Both planes are powered by two General Electric CF6 turbofan engines.
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